Digital Migration is still supposed to be completed, and a lot more needs to be done beyond the catchy jingle that is being aired on local radio. While we missed certain aspects of the deadline (some would say most actually) the government is still putting a lot of work into completing the project.
According to a report in the Herald, earlier this week, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services George Charamba revealed that the country had ordered 400,000 set top boxes from Huawei in China. According to Charamba, this is four times the penetration rate of TV sets in this country.
Huawei was the company contracted to handle the Digital Migration project on the technical side, so it’s not surprising that they are providing the decoders.
The model that has been selected is still being tested by the government to determine if it meets certain standards. The set top boxes (or decoders, as most of us know them) are going to be subsidised to ensure that they are affordable for everyone in Zimbabwe, especially folks in the rural areas with less disposable income.
set-top boxes decoders become standard for every viewer and the whole country is migrated from an analogue to a digital signal, there will be a subscription based model implemented by the ZBC. If viewers do not pay their subscriptions they will be switched off.
No figure has been presented as a price for the decoders, but a $3 subscription fee was recommended to the government in an audit report on ZBC that was submitted to parliament. This was based on the 6 channels that will be offered and it’s weighed against other offerings like MultiChoice’s bouquets.