On September 21, 2017, all analogue transmitters and frequencies will be switched off in the country.
This is to pave the way for all television broadcasting platforms to switch from broadcasting programmes in analogue transmission to digital.
It also means that after the decommissioning, the frequencies that will be freed will revert to the National Communications Authority (NCA).
The Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, who revealed this at the Digital Terrestrial Television Public Forum in Accra last weekend, however, urged the public not to dispose of their analogue television sets.
“All you have to do is to go for an approved digital terrestrial set-top boxes in order to enjoy the digital platform,” he advised. “Television users in Ghana who do not have a digital terrestrial set-top box will not be able to enjoy their television programmes, since they will not receive signals that transmit to their television set at the September 21, deadline,” he said.
Presently, there are many shops claiming to be selling digital flat screen television sets which will not require set-top boxes to unsuspecting members of the public in their quest to make some money.
But Dr Omane-Boamah underscored the need for the public to be extra cautious when purchasing a television set, and said “not all flat screen televisions are digital and not all digital television sets conform to Ghanaian standards.”
The forum was also used to unveil the digital conformance logo, Digital Ghana Thumb, christened ‘KooDigi’. The logo has a television set on top of a human body, a star in the national colours of red, gold and green with an inscription ‘Koo Digi’ beneath a white and green background.
The new conformance logo was developed to help consumers, retailers and the general public to identify the approved television receivers which conform to the country’s technical specifications, especially as Ghana goes through the switch-over process.
The minister said the government was proud to have been part of this process and had worked assiduously with all stakeholders to bring this to fruition.
He challenged the NCA to ensure strict conformance to the regulations to save the public from being deceived into buying what had not been approved.
The Deputy Director General of the NCA, Mr Albert Animfo, for his part, said presently the conformance regime was in force as the transitional period for television receivers was ongoing.
“All DTT receivers, be it aet-top boxes (STBs), or integrated digital television sold in Ghana, are required to pass this conformance test in order to obtain the ‘Digital Ghana Thumb’ certification mark or conformation,” he noted.
The deputy director said the NCA would soon embark on a market surveillance exercise to ascertain and verify that all the DTT receivers on the market conformed to the new conformance regime.
“We will ensure that importers and dealers are in compliance with our standards and that only the approved television sets bear the Digital Ghana Thumb Certification Mark,” he noted.
“The aim of this is to assure consumers that even though we have put out prescribed standards, we go further to ensure their implementation,” Mr Aminfo added.