Frequency coordination negotiations have succeeded in setting up the mechanism to deploy digital television in 47 Sub-Saharan African countries, including The Gambia.
This landmark also makes Africa the first region to be in a position in 2015 to allocate bandwidth freed up by the transition to digital television – the so-called ‘digital dividend’ – to the mobile service for both the 700 and 800 Mega Hertz bands.
The consolidation of national plans to implement the digital switch-over in the African region (GE06 Plan) is in conformity with the deadlines of June 2015, for Ultra High Frequency and June 2020 for Very High Frequency in 33 countries.
Appreciation to the high level of cooperation
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré expressed his appreciation to the high level of cooperation extended to the process by African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and its Secretary-General, Mr Abdoulkarim Soumaila.
Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, announced that sub-Saharan African countries have begun submitting official modifications to the GE06 Plan following the final frequency coordination meeting held in Nairobi in July 2013 and the deadline of 31 August set for notifications.
Allocate the digital dividend to mobile services
“The objective was to enable African countries to allocate the digital dividend to mobile services in the band 694-862 MHz, as a regionally harmonized implementation of the decisions taken at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2012,” Rancy said.
“This objective was reached by re-planning the spectrum requirements of television broadcasting in the 470-694 MHz frequency band.”
Decisions of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) to facilitate availability of the digital dividend to the mobile service will be effective with some technical refinements immediately after the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 (WRC-15).