Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is working on increasing radio and television service coverage from the current 55 percent to 80 percent countrywide under the premise of the digital migration programmes, an official has said.
BAZ technical director Engineer Mathias Chakanyuka said during a digital migration outreach programme in Beitbridge last week that they were in the midst of upgrading broadcasting transmitters while in some cases they were constructing new projects to accommodate the new order.
“We are looking at upgrading transmitters for output of 12 channels from one transmitter. In essence we are creating alternative in terms of television programming and marketing for Zimbabweans,” said Eng Chakanyuka.
“The growth of TV and Radio Services will also help grow other industries including textile, hotel and food among others.
“Our aim is to have total coverage of both TV and Radio services, which currently stand at 55 percent. We are hopeful that after the completion of the digital migration programme we will we be above 80 percent.
“At the moment we have 12 transmitters in the country and we want to increase them to 48 at the end of the programme”. He said they were also creating content production centres across the provinces in preparation for the opening up of broadcasting space.
He said they still had challenges in border towns and other outlying areas where the TV and Radio Services were virtually unavailable.
According to Eng Chakanyuka ,a total of 11 digital transmitters have been constructed countrywide, while nine towers had been constructed awaiting installation of digital equipment.
“Civil works are in progress and we have procured state of the art cameras and outside broadcast vans among a host of other equipment.
“With regards to Beitbridge we will be constructing another tower, since the current one doesn’t meet the required standards.
“In some places we are repairing the towers which are not properly set,” he said.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation chief executive Mr Patrick Mavhura said they had started working on increasing their channels to 12 in line with the digital migration programme.
He said at the moment, the country has one TV channel and new channels will be introduced in two phases.
Source : The Herald