Indonesia and the Philippines are moving to adopt terrestrial digital broadcasting technology, and this move by Southeast Asia’s two most populous countries could open business opportunities for Japanese companies with related hardware.
The Philippine government will announce a plan Tuesday for shifting to the new technology. The private-sector GMA Network will invest 416 million pesos ($8.33 million) in equipment, while fellow major television network ABS-CBN has begun testing the technology in major cities. The project includes the “one-segment” broadcasting for mobile devices.
The government will call for a gradual shift from analog technology to terrestrial digital, completed by 2022 before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends.
The Philippines has employed a version of the digital technology cultivated in Japan. The country looks to popularize the emergency warning system that comes with the package to respond better to typhoons and other emergencies.
In Indonesia, terrestrial digital broadcasting has been tested in 20 cities including Jakarta since last year. The nation’s law will be revamped as early as this year to enable a full-scale launch in 2018. The government will consider subsidizing purchases of digital receivers to be placed at individuals’ homes.
Around Southeast Asia, Singapore adopted terrestrial digital broadcasting in limited areas in 2013 while Thailand did the same in 2014.
But as Indonesia and the Philippines — with populations topping 260 million and 100 million, respectively — join the fray, demand for compatible hardware including TVs, recorders and players is seen surging. Manufacturers from Japan, which has experience from a 2011 shift to digital back home, could seize the opportunity.
However, low income levels in these two countries make it unclear whether the technology will take root smoothly. In Japan, digital receivers were provided for free, and “eco point” rebates were awarded to consumers to encourage the shift from analog. Such experience could be shared with the Philippines.
Source and image: Nikkei