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NBC ahead of digital schedule

Albertus Aochamub, Director General of the NBC explaining earlier this week the progress that the national broadcaster has made with the roll-out of Digital Terrestrial Television. (Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and SME Bank LTD announced this week the two organisations have entered into a mutual arrangement on 24 February whereby the NBC will refer SMEs and ndividuals who want to sell the new Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) decoders for possible financing provided they meet SME Bank’s funding criteria.
The arrangement will be facilitated through the SME Bank’s Micro and SME loans facilities which are tailor made for the SME market.

At the same event, Mr Albertus Aochamub, Director General of the NBC gave an update on the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) coverage.
He confirmed that they have reached the required 67% digital TV population coverage as from January 2015, thereby putting Namibia five months ahead of the International Telecommunications Union deadline of 17 June 2015.
He added that the next areas for Analogue Switch Off will be the coastal and northern areas during the months of March and April.
He highlighted that regulatory issues including the delays by the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), are almost resolved.
This will enable them to expedite the process of allocating frequencies for Gobabis, Ben Hur, Aranos and Maltahöhe.
“The NBC is technically ready to switch those towns on but can not do so due to a regulatory obstacle,” he explained.
Another challenge that the NBC faces is in Rundu where interference with the NBC DTT signal from Angola, is experienced. Aochamub said the Regulator are still considering this urgent issue to afford the residents of that area unhindered access to the digital TV signal.
Besides all these setbacks, the DG is delighted because their accomplishments puts them well on track to meet the 17 June 2015 Analogue Switched Off (ASO) deadline in less than four months, therefore Namibia remains a DTT forerunner together with Mauritius and Tanzania in the SADC region.
Aochamub confirmed that for a once-off payment of N$199, the NBC Digital TV offers viewer seven television channels, NBC 1, NBC 2, NBC 3, One Africa TV, TBN, EDuTV, THIS TV and 9 radio stations.

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