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Migration From Analogue To Digital Broadcasting: Implications For Nigeria’s Telecoms




Migration from analogue to digital television (DTV) broadcasting will free more frequency spectrum for telecoms.

IT NEWS NIGERIA gathered that digital transmission enhances “limited spectrum use” because broadcast signal can be compressed. TV houses could carry more channels using less spectrum. Government would earn more revenue through auction of the spectrum freed up in this way. The freed spectrum caused by the migration also known as the digital dividend will then be tapped to advance broadband services. DTV boasts up to 10 times the detail of regular analogue TV. It transmits data casting which allows for the transmission of not only digital sound and images, but also digital data including text, graphics, maps and other services. DTV enables the same TV coverage area with less power consumption.

In fact, according to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a paper, the migration of the broadcast industry from analogue to digital means of transmitting signals will present an opportunity to free up valuable frequency spectrum that can be used in the provision of better and more robust telecoms services.

”Because the digital broadcast signal can be compressed, spectrum can be freed up and this can be sold to communications operators who want to provide better wireless broadband services.”

The move will be most economically and socially valuable to the country. ”With developments in technology, the bandwidth requirement for the provision of broadcast content has reduced. This means capacity left un-utilsed can be used for other purposes. This freeing up of spectrum bandwidth due to the migration from analogue to digital techniques has led to the digital dividend in the 700 MHz band.”

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‘There is plans to auction 2.6 GHz spectrum band and this would be deployed for provision of broadband access services once all the broadcast services on this band has been successfully migrated off the band.”

The NCC, has working relationship with NBC and they have guaranteed a seamless migration.


Technology experts said  migration from analogue to digital broadcasting will offer boundless opportunities for not only  telecoms but also radios and TVs in Nigeria especially at a time operators are unable to deliver data and video services. Access to spectrum freed up in this way, they said it is particularly important to government as it would earn more revenues from auctioning it to operators.

Speaking on the long term impact  of digital transmission, Chairman Teledon Group, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem once said since technology has opened a world of possibilities for broadcasting, a huge spectrum will be available for radio and television broadcast in the country. ”As a result, more frequencies or wavelengths will be available for television stations in the country. It will also afford the industry opportunities for interactive broadcasting as the television sets would now do much more than receive signals,” he explained.

According to former President of Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, ”the implication of digital TV is that a huge spectrum will be available for telecoms, more radios  transmimissions and more television stations in Nigeria. Thus, the spectrum can be applied to other services government desires to generate more money by auctioning spectrum space.”


According to reports, digital broadcasting will afford the viewers more programming choice arising from efficient spectrum utilization. There will be optimum utilization because the viewers will be able to receive multiple channels from one station. Digital broadcasting enhances media convergence which affords the audience to use TV in conjunction with telephone, computer and other ICT devices.  The technological possibilities of digital television are immense. It could provide the broadcast picture via cable, antenna or satellite; multicasting which enables the transmission of multiple programmes within one digital signal.

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IT NEWS NIGERIA gathered that there are two distinct digital formats. High-definition television (HDTV) is a wide screen format and features an ultra clear high resolution picture with superior sound. The other digital format is standard digital television, TV, which will make it possible to broadcast up to six channels on the same frequency space that now carries only one channel.

Because the process of digital transition in broadcasting involves re-allocating frequencies, International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Regional Telecommunication Conference (RRC) agreed that digital transmission must be adopted by member countries. At the conclusion of the ITU’s Regional Radio communication Conference in 2006 (RRC-2006) the member states of the ITU signed a treaty agreement identifying 17 June 2015 as the deadline for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. The setting of this deadline by member states has become the key driver in timetabling terms of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.



Advantages and Opportunities of Digital TV

Broadcast industries

  • Broadcasters and operators can offer new services and generate new revenue
  • Manufacturer benefit from increased receiver sale


  • Wider choice of TV programs
  • HDTV and multi channel sound
  • New ancillary services (e.g. EPG)
  • Interactive standards (e.g. HbbTV)
  • New reception modes (portable, handheld)


  • Digital Dividend

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