South Africa has notified the communication industry and the affected parties that it intended to switch-off the analogue signals on 31 March 2023 “to end the dual illumination era,” APA learnt on Sunday.Briefing the media on the switch-off date in Pretoria, Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni called on stakeholders to make representations on the proposed date by 27 January 2023.
The analogue switch-off must be concluded without further delay in order to enable the telecommunication network operators to decongest the networks with the deployment of 4G and 5G networks, the minister said.
“The quality of connectivity is degrading across the country and some areas have completely lost network coverage and they are pushing for a speedy conclusion of digital migration to allow speedy 4G and 5G deployment,” Ntshavheni noted.
She added: “We have already started receiving reports of cross interference between Broadcasting and International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) services – something we did not want to occur at all.”
“In this regard, it is important to emphasise that the broadcasters are no longer protected in those frequencies as the protection fell in June 2015,” the minister said.