Chinese company Star Times has started what could possibly be a long legal tussle over the government of Ghana’s decision to terminate their contract for the Digital Terrestrial Television Migration project.
Star Times have started arbitrary proceedings at the London-based International Commercial Court (ICC) against Ghana.
The company’s decision to seek redress is on the heels of an announcement by the Ministry of Communications that the project has been handed over to local company K-NET Limited.
KNET’s 82.4 million dollar contract sum is 13 million dollar cheaper than the 95 million dollar proposed by Star Times contract.
Cabinet approved the 82.4 million dollar Digital Migration contract to be executed in 3 phases, and expected to be completed in 9 months.
The migration to DTT will guarantee multiple TV channels, clearer pictures, better sound quality and offer more opportunities for advertisers and broadcasters.
The Ghanaian company is a major provider of connectivity services to over 50 radio stations and 30 TV channels.
Ghana June 17 missed out on meeting the international deadline set for the official switch from analogue to Digital Television Broadcasting.
A requirement by the International Telecommunications Union, Ghana was to switch from analogue to digital, a process that has been the subject of intense stakeholder deliberations.
Digital migration involves shifting broadcasters from analogue to digital signals and the process is key for opening up more frequencies and faster mobile broadband services.
In 2006, Ghana and other countries in Africa, Europe, the Middle East committed to meeting an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) deadline to switch over to digital terrestrial television (DTT) broadcasting on June 17 2015. The ITU is a specialist agency tasked by the United Nations to focus on information and communication technologies.
Other countries listed by the ITU as having failed to start their digital migration process include Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Sao Tome and Principe, and Sierra Leone.