The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services (MIBS) has launched the digital television test transmission at the Zambia National Broadcasting Services (ZNBC).
Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said the test transmission merely symbolises the transition to digital terrestrial television (DTT) by the public broadcaster.
Mr. Kasolo noted at Mass Media in Lusaka today that the full launch will be done by May 2015 when the transmitters under phase one will be installed.
He said this was a historical occasion in the country’s digital migration process which was prescribed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
Mr. Kasolo said government has phased the rollout of digital migration in the country into three phases in order to ensure sustainability.
He said phase one is for the installation of digital transmitters along the line of rail while phase two is for the installation of studio equipment at ZNBC and digital television transmitters in the provincial centres.
Mr. Kasolo added that phase three will involve coverage of areas beyond the provincial centres noting that pre-shipment inspection was conducted by the project management team.
He said at phase one, other private broadcasters will be able to broadcast their content through the public signal distribution.
Mr. Kasolo further said ZNBC has positioned Set-Top-Boxes (STBs) at ZamPost outlets in Lusaka for members of the public to buy in order for them to access the ZNBC digital television signal.
Speaking earlier, ZNBC Board Chairman John Mulwila encouraged residents in Lusaka and surrounding areas to visit ZamPost outlets and purchase the STB that is going at K130 each.
Dr. Mulwila said the test transmission being witnessed was just the beginning of better and high quality transmission that the corporation will be availing to the residents of Lusaka.
He said the test transmission will provide a platform upon which to build for the full rollout of DTT along the line of rail.
He said the skills set to handle the new technology will be equal to the task at hand.