Cape Verde switches off TV to switch on 4G

Cape Verde switches off TV to switch on 4G

A 4G-enabling analogue TV switch-off is almost complete in Cape Verde.

According to TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the government of the ten-island country, some 560 kilometres off the west coast of mainland Africa, has given the state-supported company Cabo Verde Broadcast (CVB) the go-ahead to switch off all analogue terrestrial TV services from August this year.

This process, as in many other countries, is aimed at freeing up frequencies that can be used for 4G as the country works on upgrading and expanding LTE network services. There will also be a continuing transition from analogue to digital terrestrial TV (DTT), something that has been underway for some years – and not just in Cape Verde. The switchover to digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa began in 2015 and is expected to continue until at least this year. However, the roll-out of DTT differs from country to country.

In Cape Verde the analogue TV switch-off will free up a chunk of 800MHz 4G spectrum. However, Cape Verde’s incumbent mobile operators, CV Movel and Unitel T+, have already launched commercial 4G 1800MHz services.

The award, by Cabo Verde’s Multisectorial Regulatory Agency of the Economy (ARME), of commercial 4G LTE mobile licences to the two operators was announced late last year and followed about three months of network trials that began in June 2019 on the island of Sal, which, with about 34,000 inhabitants, is the fifth most populous island in Cape Verde. 

There have even been rumours that 5G is on the way, though, since ARME’s chairman Isaias Barreto was quoted as saying that Cabo Verde will conduct a 5G technology ‘pilot experiment’, there seem to have been no further details.