Digital Switchover in Pakistan

This report is the first in a series that will examine the challenges of digital switchover in Pakistan by providing an in depth assessment of the prevailing market trends on the adoption of digital TV, its policy making and regulation in the country.

The analog to digital transition ranks as one of the most complex technological transitions of the present era. Successful transition will depend on widespread consumer awareness of how digital television differs from conventional television and why it is worth investing in a new technology from a household’s perspective. Preliminary research on the subject of adoption and diffusion; policy making and regulation of digital TV carried out by Internet Policy Observatory Pakistan indicates a severe lack of user awareness about digital TV, its attributes and adoption.

The transition from analog to digital is not a simple trajectory in which households merely turn off a set of established technologies one day and turn on another system the next. The effects of switchover to digital go well beyond the technical aspects by bringing with it complex economic disincentives and cultural resistance.

This report is an attempt to begin thinking about the challenges developing countries like Pakistan face and recommends clear strategies to be adopted for a successful digital switchover and its regulation.

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