GOtv Ghana Limited, in collaboration with the National Communications Authority on Thursday February 21st 2013 organized a one day workshop on Digital Migration titled “Digital Dialogue”, at the Best Western Hotel in Accra.
The workshop served as a platform for stakeholders in the telecommunications industry and regulators to dialogue on Digital Migration; the benefits and challenges of Digital Migration and what migration means to Ghana.
Participants at the Digital Dialogue workshop included representatives from the National Communications Authority (NCA), National Media Communication (NMC), Ministry of Information and Media Relations, Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and Network of Communications Reporters.
Giving the keynote address, the Director of Special Projects of the NCA, Major (Rtd.) Emmanuel Owusu-Adansi, indicated the NCA’s preparedness to ensure a smooth transmission from Analogue to Digital transmission. He revealed that the country would be able to continue with analogue transmission should we fail to meet the 2015 deadline.
Mr. Edmund Fianko, secretary to the Digital Migration Committee and a Manager, Engineering, at the NCA highlighted the framework for Digital Migration and said “we are on course to migrate from analogue to digital by 2015. We have the policy on migration formulated and ready for implementation and at the moment, we have also selected the DVB T2 technology”.
However, The Executive Director of Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association, Mr. Gerald Ankrah expressed GIBA’s frustration over the failure of government in forming the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to oversee the building and ownership of Ghana’s Digital Infrastructure.
Adding to the dialogue, the President of the Network of Communications Reporters, Mr. Charles Okine outlined the various roles the media can play for a successful transition. He added “information distribution on the migration process need to be thorough, there is a need for the distribution of information brochures on Digital Migration and several points of contact to get information”.
Other speakers at the workshop were Gerhard Petrick from the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) and Gregory Bensberg, an Independent Consultant and a policy expert responsible for managing Ofcom’s spectrum clearance programme, which enabled the UK’s 4G spectrum auction in 2013.
Gerhard Petrick, Secretary, Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA), shared with participants the Southern African experience in the preparation for transition to Digital Broadcast Service, outlining the several challenges they are faced with. This includes the lack of transparency on the part of the government to be decisive on the actual dates of migration as well as the indecisiveness on the manufacturing of T2 boxes.
Gregory Bensberg, a policy and technical expert for Ofcom and the Independent Television Commission for over 20 years spoke on Digital television development in the United Kingdom, emphasising on the need for alternative content creation in the Digital world. He also shared the UK success story and compared it with other European countries.
With the launch of GOtv in Ghana, the first digital operator using the DBV T2 operator, Ghanaians can now enjoy an increased number of channels, better picture and sound quality plus high definition television. GOtv viewers will also not have to migrate or buy new boxes when Ghana eventually goes Digital.