Botswana adopt ISDB-T

Government moves to implement ISDB-T standard

Government is forging ahead to implement the adopted Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting–Terrestrial (ISDB-T) as its Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) standard,  Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.

Minister Masisi said in a press briefing he co-hosted with his Japanese counterpart, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Mr Yoshitaka Shindo that ISDB – T was the best model for the country. He said Botswana as a sovereign state exercised its prerogative to select a particular standard that the country thought best suited what it needed to achieve. “We have one of the best television stations in the continent, and therefore the choice we made will not be taken lightly, we took cognizance of what we had.

Mr Masisi said prior to choosing the Japanese ISDB-T they took a comparative study and compared the two systems of European/Brazilian and Japanese standards, of which he said the Japanese one proved to be superior to the European one. He said the choice was made through the assistance of a renowned professor who has a long history of testing systems and technologies out for manufactures. “We went along with Japanese standard not only for the efficacy of the technology, but due to the economics of the technology that is free-to-air,” he said.

ISDB-T one full segment

Mr Masisi said ISDB-T will enable the country to digitilise a lot of government systems and processes as the country migrates to e-government.  He said this system is ‘very’ accessible, convenient and could be used for emergencies like fire, disaster management, security threats and overtime it will be accessible via-mobile cellphones,” he said. In this regard, he assured Batswana that the system was the best and the right choice and that this will be proven with time.

Minister Masisi’s explanation came after some Batswana allayed fears that the Japanese standard chosen by Botswana was more expensive and not compatible to the rest of other countries in the region, hence might be a problem. Mr Shindo affirmed Japan’s commitment to take Botswana through the transition from analogue to digital migration.

In this regard, he expressed Japan’s willingness to provide project support to Botswana through the piloting of data broadcasting, initially focused on the roll out of distance learning programming, provision of human resource training and piloting of early warning broadcasting system that will aid in potential disaster relief efforts. He said ISDB-T will be affordable to Batswana as they will only be required to buy receivers in order to receive digital broadcasting. “Japan wishes to prove to Botswana and the rest of the continent that its decision was very correct as ISDB-T will lead to new industries being born,” he said.

He said neighbouring countries will also realise the benefits of ISDB-T and that they will also tend to support it. Mr Shindo said ISDB-T has three main benefits that could not be found in European standard such as emergency warning broadcasting system, whereby in the event that the viewers’ television is off, in the event of emergencies, the TV will automatically go-on and viewers can receive news timely.

It also provides digital broadcasting on mobile devices as well as data broadcasting. Botswana like other countries moved to adopt ISDB-T to make room for more waves as the rest of the world moved to digital broadcasting due to lack of frequency waves that resulted from analogue broadcasting.

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