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Roadmap for the Transition from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television in Nepal

image of Roadmap for the Transition from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television in Nepal

The Nepal National Roadmap Team (NRT) has developed a digital switch-over (DSO) policy for a smooth switch-over to digital in phases, conversion starting with transmitters with the highest coverage of population and each phase having coverage equivalent to that of the existing analogue transmission. Simulcast will continue within the coverage zone of a particular transmitter till at least 90 per cent of the viewers who were receiving analogue are equipped with a set top box (STB) or integrated digital television (IDTV) so that they continue to receive programmes without interruption after which the analogue switch-off (ASO) of that station takes place. The analogue equivalent digital coverage is expected to be completed in five years and complete ASO has been targeted for December 2017. The first digital experimental transmission is expected to start from Kathmandu, having the highest population, by July 2012. The NRT has recommended DVB T2 as the digital terrestrial television broadcasting (DTTB) standard in Nepal and DVB-H as the standard for mobile television (MTV). Though standard selection has been made for MTV, its implementation will have a lower priority and would be taken up on market demand and after implementation of the DTTB plan.

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Executive Summary

Nepal is a small landlocked country, surrounded by two large countries, India to the East, South and West, and China to the North. It has an area of 14 7181 km2 and with a population of 28.5 million. The country entered the television age with the state-owned Nepal Television (NTV) in 1985. The country has at present licensed 32 terrestrial analogue TV stations. NTV has 19 transmitting stations. Three transmitters owned by private operators are also in operation. The other stations are licensed to private operators who have yet to start broadcasting. NTV is the dominant player having two channels, NTV and NTV+. The private player Kantipur Television has two stations. Lumbini community viewing TV centre is the second private operator. While NTV is operating mostly in Band III and one UHF frequency, all private players have been licensed or are operating in UHF Band IV.

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