Digital Migration is coming to FM Radio: UCC begins the Introduction of Digital Audio Broadcasting in Uganda


Digital Audio Broadcasting in Uganda aka “Digital Migration” for FM Radio has been long over due, if you have been living under a rock you can read our full thoughts about Digital FM Radio here and what we had to say about it back then. The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) are mandated under the 2013 section 5(1)(c) Communications Act to allocate, license, standardize and manage the use of the radio frequency spectrum resources in a manner that ensures widest variety of programming and optimal utilization of spectrum resources. The commission in a statement, has acknowledged that the spectrum demand for FM (frequency modulation) broadcasting services in Uganda has far outstripped the existing supply.

Thanks to the advancement in Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), this technology has been ear marked as a potent alternative to remedy this situation. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has itself already earmarked 174 – 230 MHz band III for Digital Broadcasting services, as part of the GE06 Agreement thus paving the way for its implementation across the world.

UCC calls for feasibility study of DAB in Uganda

The commission has therefore called upon collaborative research proposals from academia to undertake preliminary studies on the “Introduction of Digital Audio Broadcasting in Uganda. The main objective of the study is to conduct an assessment of the feasibility and readiness of Uganda for DAB. This will cover the following:

The policy, legal and regulatory pre-requisites to facilitate the transition from analogue to digital audio broadcasting networks within the context of delivering the best value to the country and the most choice for consumers while delivering sustainable economic growth of the sector.
The network infrastructure and other technical pre-requisites for the introduction of DAB in Uganda.
The market readiness and structure required including business development, the investment incentives and other support measures necessary to achieve successful migration
Interventions required to ensure achievement of universal access without creating marginalisation of persons in the society and protection of consumers from exploitation.
A review of the various approaches taken in other countries for the implementation of DAB

A team comprising of members from Makerere University Kampala, Ndejje University and International University of East Africa emerged best. But do you still think Uganda is ready for DAB?