Technology • 04 September, 2018

Government considers transition to digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting

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September 4 at a meeting of the Government Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev instructed to ensure the timely transition of regions to digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting.

Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that the transition to digital television is an important social project. Therefore, well-coordinated work and constant monitoring at all levels are required. The Ministry of Information and Communications, together with the regions, was charged with ensuring the timely transition of regions to digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting.

Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev reported on the ongoing work on the transition. The population, including residents of villages far from district and city centers, will benefit from sound and image quality as well as an increase in the number of TV channels. A full transition to this standard will allow Kazakhstanis to watch up to 30 TV channels at the level of regional centers, at the level of villages and district centers — up to 15 TV channels in digital quality. In the domestic package there will be TV channels: news, for children, about culture, cinema and sports.

Another advantage is the release of radio frequencies after the transition to digital broadcasting. Based on the released frequencies, it is planned to develop new technologies in the communications field. For this, all-round work is carried out with telecom operators. Amendments made to the law "On TV and Radio Broadcasting" last year allowed the gradual transition of regions in accordance with the readiness of their infrastructure.

The total number of radio and television stations throughout the country is 827, today 356 have been built. By the end of this year, it is planned to complete another 200. The remaining stations will be completed in the period from 2019-2020.

By the end of the year, construction works of all stations will be completed by regions, which will switch to digital broadcasting: Mangistau, Zhambyl and Turkestan regions, and the city of Shymkent. This will ensure a 99% coverage of the population of these regions. In addition, in these regions active work is being done to provide the population with prefixes and information notification.

Completion of work on the transition to digital broadcasting is planned in 2021.

Chairman of the Board of Kazteleradio JSC Iskander Tazhibekov, in turn, reported that in the framework of the implementation of the State program on the transition of Kazakhstan to digital technologies and reduce information inequality in 2010, the satellite broadcasting network was modernized. The national satellite TV and radio broadcasting provides 100% coverage of the territory of the republic, which enables the population in any locality to watch domestic channels in good quality. The number of subscribers of satellite TV and radio broadcasting under the OTAU TV brand increased from 6,300 in 2010 to 1.36 million subscribers. Over 4 million citizens of the country watch national satellite television. At the same time, statistics show that 74% of subscribers are residents of rural areas.

The next step was the introduction of digital terrestrial broadcasting in the modern standard DVB-S2. Step by step, construction and introduction of 827 stations are being implemented, which will allow reaching more than 95% of the population by 2021.

Also, the akims of the regions were heard in the course of the meeting, in which digital television broadcasting is being introduced at the end of this year: Zhambyl region — A. Myrzakhmetov, Turkestan — Zh. Tuimebayev.

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