The GSMA congratulates the Government of Kenya and the Communications Authority of Kenya on finalizing the schedule for the country’s much-anticipated digital switchover. This comes amid requests by Kenya’s media to extend the deadline set for 31st December terming it as unrealistic since a majority of Kenyans have not crossed over or rather are not well equipped for the switchover.
However, Tom Philips chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA has applauded the Kenyan government for the deadline announcement that demonstrates a clear and welcome commitment to meeting the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) global digital migration deadline of 17 June 2015.
The switchover from analogue to digital television allows more efficient use of a limited resource and frees up precious 700MHz and 800MHz spectrum bands, otherwise known as the Digital Dividend. This lower frequency spectrum delivers excellent geographic coverage and will be a key enabler for the provision of universal mobile broadband access.
Unique mobile subscriber penetration in Kenya is currently 40 per cent, which means that more than half of the country is still unconnected. The availability of Digital Dividend spectrum for mobile will make life-changing mobile services available to all Kenyans, including the three-quarters of the population who live in rural areas, as well as provide substantial economic benefits and new opportunities for digital entrepreneurship.
Kenya and Tanzania, which have almost completed its digital switchover, are leading the way in East Africa in bringing the benefits of the digital transition to their citizens. We hope that other countries in the region will be inspired to follow the Government of Kenya’s example and determine their own digital migration plans in time for next year’s deadline.