Zimbabwe has the capacity to open up airwaves for up to 93 community and commercial radio stations, an official from TransMedia Corporation, the organisation responsible for installing broadcasting transmitters, said yesterday.
Speaking at a broadcasting conference organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Harare, TransMedia operations officer Rufaro Zaranyika said more stations could be opened up, but the only hitch was funding for the necessary equipment.
“The country has a capacity to have 93 community and commercial radio stations and we need
$30 million or more to install digital
broadcasting equipment as we migrate from analogue to digital systems,” Zaranyika said.
“We might need more money than that because after installing the equipment, some areas may have problems getting the signals.”
Zaranyika said once the country went fully digital, viewers would also have to change their receivers and get set-to boxes, which are like decoders, to enable them to receive transmission from the digitalised broadcast systems.
He further said the $30 million would not be easy to get from Treasury as so far, only $2 million had been availed for the digitalisation programme and more would be required to convert from analogue to digital systems.
“We have a 2013 deadline to make sure everything is in order and this year government only allocated us $5 million for this project, but it was later cut to $2 million.
“The deadline is set by the International Telecoms Union, which is a United Nations branch, and Sadc guidelines also stipulate that by 2013 we should have migrated from analogue to digital systems,” he said - Newsday.