The Zimbabwean government says it requires USD 173 million to complete the broadcasting digitisation migration. ICT Minister Jonathan Moyo said the funds will go on migrating existing transmitters, buying new digital transmitters, migrating the studios at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), migrating monitoring equipment for the regulator and putting in place new regulations for licensing the new digital broadcasting, Techzim reported.
Moyo said the migration has already started, with ten transmission sites now migrated to digital broadcasting. Zimbabwe currently has 24 transmission sites but another two dozen digital transmission sites are required. Moyo said the total cost of the transmitters yet to be digitised and the new ones is estimated at USD 30 million. Television transmitters in Zimbabwe are owned and managed by Transmedia.
On the ZBC side, digitising the studios will cost USD 70 million. Moyo said once digitised, ZBC will need to kick-start the digital content production and this process will need USD 5 million. Moyo said it will need to migrate the regulation of television broadcasting and this will take up USD 5 million. It will also need to buy monitoring equipment for USD 1.5 million.
A huge chunk of the USD 173 will go on servicing debts by the ZBC, which currently owes a total USD 51 million. Moyo said that ZBC will also need USD 10 million to skill its employees for digital television.