An agreement was signed between the Maldivian government and the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) today for a US$20 million project to establish a digital broadcasting network throughout the Maldives.
According to Home Minister Umar Naseer – who signed the agreement on behalf of the government – the Japanese government had agreed to provide free assistance to set up an ISDB-T digital broadcasting network during President Abdulla Yameen’s official visit to Japan last year.
ISDB-T is a technical standard for digital television broadcasting developed by Japanese and Brazilian experts.
“With the adoption of the ISDB network, Maldivian broadcasters can cost-efficiently send their broadcasting signals across Maldives with ease,” Naseer said.
Jotaro Tatayama, the head of a JICA delegation currently visiting Maldives to carry out a survey for the design process of the digital broadcasting network, signed the agreement on behalf of the agency.
The broadcast digitalisation project will be carried out in collaboration with the state broadcaster Public Service Media (PSM) and the Communication Authority of Maldives (CAM).
A team comprised of experts from the Japanese government, the home ministry, PSM, and CAM carried out the survey for the project.
Ilyas Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CAM, told the press that US$20 million is the estimated cost of the project and that the Japanese government will provide the funding as grant aid.
“We now have identified the islands on which towers and transmitters will be established, therefore the bulk of the technical plan has been completed,” said Ibrahim Khaleel, PSM managing director.
The project is scheduled to begin in mid-2016 and is expected to be completed in 2017.