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South Africa targets 84% of population in digital switchover

South Africa Communications Department logoSouth Africa will now aim to cover 84% of the country’s total population with its digital terrestrial TV signal, according to amendments made to the country’s digital migration policy.

In the changes, made this week, the South African government said that the remaining 16% of the population, in areas deemed “difficult or uneconomical to reach”, will be covered by free-to-air DTH satellite using the DVB-S2 technology.

“This will thus enable analogue switch-off in South Africa with 100% population coverage for the public broadcasting services,” said the government.

The news comes just weeks after South Africa’s Department of Communications has said that the country will not meet an agreed June 2015 deadline for the switch-off of analogue TV signals.

In a statement issued earlier this month, the communications department said the issue of whether to include an encryption system into set-top boxes (STBs) as part of the switchover has “impacted negatively” on the country’s ability to meet the deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The new digital switch-over date is yet to be announced.