The digital migration impacted business in Kenya in various ways. This article highlights 3 results of successful migration:

  • New business opportunities

After the digital migration, many businesses switched to digital signals resulting in better quality picture, sharper, brighter picture and reduced interference as well as improved sound quality. The shift also resulted in High Definition Television as the premium version of digital television, offering superior picture and sound quality. They also benefited from opportunities to lock in new subscribers to broadcasting services. Kenyans today have over 50 channels, some broadcasting in vernacular and filling gaps previously ignored by commercial broadcasters.  

There is more variety provided by new stations and local languages are now being televised. Today, broadcasters have an opportunity to bring on board audiences previously marginalized on language and signal distribution like Northern Kenya counties.  This helps develop a more informed public better equipped to contribute to the economic development process in Kenya.

  • New licensing regime in broadcasting

The first Broadcast Signal Distributor (BSD) licence was awarded to SIGNET, a subsidiary of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation. The second BSD licence was an open tender that was competitively won by Pan African Network Group (PANG). This was after the application by the National Signal Networks failed to meet the required criteria and was therefore disqualified.

The three media houses, through the consortium, Africa Digital Network, applied for a vendor’s licence on 12th February 2015 which was eventually granted.

After the analogue switch off is compete there were more frequencies available for distribution.

  • New business opportunities:  The migration led to the production and sale of new equipment such as the Free-to-Air and subscription based set-top boxes
  • Government revenue

Governemnt revenue was affected during media black out of major media houses, lost revenue from lost advertisements and lost sales. There was stagnation on purchase of TV sets at the time of regulatory uncertainty, loss of revenue. After regulatory environment was stable, business picked back up and revenues for Government returned and increased with the increased uptake of digital broadcasting services.

10 years after the ITU decision, the digital migration has served its purpose in promoting the efficient use of spectrum resources in Kenya.