The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority have switched off the analogue television broadcasting system for Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions in the night of March 31st.
Speaking here, shortly before the switch off, the TCRA Director of Broadcasting Affairs Mr Habbi Gunze said effective from the 1st of April this year, the entire Northern Zone would be going digital. That was not an April Fools' Day gimmick, but something real.
"We are told that, Arusha was already prepared for digital immigration because so far, a total of 50,000 digital decoders have been sold here and 10,000 more shipped into the region this week," explained Mr Gunze.
Tanga was the first Northern Zone region to have its analogue TV system switched off in January, alongside Dodoma, with the Lake Zone region of Mwanza following in February and now it was the turn for Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions.
Engineer Annette Matinde , the TCRA Manager in charge of the Northern Zone (Tanga, Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro) said the shift to digital TV was smooth and successful in Tanga region and she expected the same for I Arusha and Kilimanjaro .
The inaugural digital migration debuted at the eve of the New Year 2013 on the 31stDecember 2012, when TCRA abandoned the analogue broadcasting for Dar-es-salaam City and the corresponding region.
Tanzania is going to complete the changeover to digital broadcasting by the end of next month, that is on the 30th of April 2013 when Mbeya region will be plugged off from the analogue system
A number of digital broadcasting companies have so far been licensed to vend decoders as well as sell programs but so far it is only Starmedia (Startimes) and (Agape) Ting that have floated their wares in Arusha.
But in addition to that, many residents of Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro were already using satellite dishes to capture TV transmissions and according to TCRA these have already entered the digital era.