Botswana has launched digital terrestrial TV (DTT), and is the first country in Africa to use a Japanese digital standard, ISDB-T. South Africa and most of the other Southern African Development Community countries have opted for the European standard DVB-T.

“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and respect to all government officials of Botswana who made enormous efforts in deciding to adopt ISDB-T and commence digital TV,” said Keiichiro Tachibana, Japan’s Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communication.

Botswana’s process of digital transition began in 2008. The country’s Vice-President Ponatshego Kedikilwe said his government has since invested the equivalent of over €14 million to achieve 85 per cent DTT coverage for Botswana, according to TechCentral. Japan will be providing technical and human resource assistance to Botswana as it completes its digital migration.

Botswana’s large southern neighbour, South Africa, underwent a lengthy debate over whether to adopt a different standard to the second generation of the European DVB-T, eventually choosing it over ISDB-T.

The adoption of ISDB-T has been led by Japan as well as Brazil. Other Latin American countries have adopted the standard, however DVB-T and its successor DVB-T2 are still the most popular DTT standards globally.

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Image: Gaborone, Botswana’s capital