GSMA publishes TMG report on Sub-Saharan Africa digital switchover

TMG Press Release
November 17, 2022

Arlington, VA – The GSMA has published a TMG-authored report presenting background, recommendations, and insights from the Digital Switchover (DSO) process in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report examines the DSO processes in Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Senegal, and Tanzania and how a successful switchover process can free up low-band spectrum to expand connectivity. While each country’s experience was unique, TMG’s analysis draws out common threads and challenges, including experiences with the same trials faced by other middle-income countries during their own analog-to-digital television transitions.

Each of the five countries in the report encountered challenges relating to funding, availability and cost of digital TV set-top boxes, regulatory frameworks, consumer outreach, and legal and technical obstacles – all of which can be addressed. The report highlights some of the lessons learned from the experiences of the countries studied.

Overall, three important lessons stand out:

  • Countries must embrace flexibility, including with respect to funding, regulatory frameworks, and responses to unexpected roadblocks.
  • Outreach to both consumers and key stakeholders plays a key role in ensuring success.
  • The speedy and successful assignment of the digital dividends is essential. As the key benefit to be derived from the transition to digital terrestrial television (DTT), putting the newly available spectrum to use for mobile services is a hallmark of a successful migration.

The report is accompanied by an annex providing information relevant to the current use of the 470-694 MHz frequency band for 13 countries, including the case study countries as well as additional information for eight other Sub-Saharan African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda.

Both the report and the annex are available for download from the GSMA website.

About TMG

TMG ( provides customized assistance to a variety of clients in the ICT sector, including current projects enabling innovative technologies such as 5G, submarine cables systems, satellite broadband, over-the-top services, next generation Wi-Fi, and the Internet of Things. Our engagement on contemporary issues leverages 30 years of experience across more than 100 countries advising private and public sector clients on matters including broadband plans, mobile services, and rural connectivity. TMG’s staff develops legal, regulatory, managerial, economic, and technical strategies focusing on issues related to broadband and ICTs, legal and regulatory reform, market analysis, licensing and tenders, and spectrum planning and management. The TMG team is well-known by stakeholders worldwide for its expertise and for delivering thoughtful strategies, detailed reports, sector insights, and capacity-building programs.