Radios in Tanzania to switch to digital waves

Dar es Salaam. Six years after TV broadcasts switched from analogue to digital it is now time for radio to follow suit as the regulator seeks to clear the crowded airwaves in major cities.

The principal broadcasting engineer from Tanzania Communications Authority (TCRA), Mr Andrew Kisaka, said the regulator has been forced to move from analogue due to the challenge of signal saturation extended to radio stations in various cities.

“These FM radio stations use analogue technology signals which vary from megahertz 87.5 to 108….In big cities these waves are full,” said Mr Kisaka.

This is the situation so far, the regulator no longer has FM radio licences for Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Mwanza, Dodoma and Morogoro which are about to be full.

Mr Kisaka said the regulator would not stop using the current FM signals but instead, it will utilize them simultaneously until the technology transfer is as user-friendly as television was when people watched high-quality images.

He said the only challenge that consumers will have to contend with is the high level of purchasing digital receivers which will cost between $50 and $100.

“We will start in the big cities due to commercial issues,” he said.