August 28, 2013

Digital migration to free N380bn worth of spectrum


A digital broadcast studio

By Prince Osuagwu

After assessing the value of spectrum to be left behind when broadcast stations would migrate to digital platform as Nigeria set the 2015 target, a Nigerian broadcast engineer has put the figure at above N380bn.

This revenue is expected to accrue to the country by re-allocating the spectrums to the telecom operators who would put them into other uses that would benefit the Nigerian subscribers.

To that extent, the country has been advised to religiously apply all preparations to joining other countries of the world to migrate to digital broadcasting come 2015.

A digital broadcast studio

A digital broadcast studio

As experts in the broadcast sector gathered weekend in Abuja to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of NTA/Startimes TV joint partnership, chairman of Fatora Consult Ltd, Engr. Edward Amana said that Nigeria could earn up to $2 billion (N380 billion) revenue from digital broadcasting if properly managed

Amana, a former director of engineering at the NTA, who was a guest lecturer at the event, said that the revenue could be called digital dividend as it would be possible from frequency sale in the spectrum that would have been freed up in digital broadcasting.

According to him, ” the spectrum gain after the transition can be used for mobile Broadband. This will enable broadband penetration into the rural areas, with its attendant benefits.

“Properly managed, the sale of this leftover spectrum by auction should yield over $2 billion US dollars, over N308 billion.”

He also contended that the digital dividend will generate thousands of jobs for the youth of Nigeria adding that “it will enable more channels of diverse programming, giving the viewer more choice, possibility of multi-lingual delivery of programmes and better quality pictures and sound.”

Earlier the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Musa Maiyaki had promised that the authority would fully digitalize its services by June 2014 ahead of the international requirement for 2015.

Mayaki, said so far, NTA has digitalized in 32 states of the federation adding that experience had shown that truly,one frequency for over twenty channels over stretches the capacity resulting in freezing of transmission.

The Director NTA-Star TV Network Ltd., Maxwell P. Loko said it was appropriate to work in order to drum mobile television and handset television in the StarTimes Network in the digital arena so as to celebrate the 3-year anniversary.