NO more national radio licences will be issued to any prospective broadcaster because the sites allocated to Zimbabwe have been exhausted, Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe chief executive officer Mr Obert Muganyura has said.
He also said no foreign-funded radio stations will be licensed to offer services in Zimbabwe.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology, Mr Muganyura said licences recently issued to Zimpapers’ Talk Radio and AB Communications had completed national radio services on the Frequency Modulation broadcasting band.
He was responding to questions from committee chairman, Mbizo legislator Mr Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T), if there was going to be more national commercial radio licences to be issued to other broadcasters.
Mr Muganyura said the International Telecommunications Union had already done the planning before use system (apriori) for the Frequency Modulation broadcasting band.
“There is no way forward in terms of going beyond the six national stations except for television where there is a chance for more when we migrate from analogue to digital,” Mr Muganyura said.
“For the FM broadcasting band, apriori planning has already been done and they came up with six frequencies per site, which translates to six national radio services.”
He said BAZ had already invited 14 applications for local commercial radio services in urban centres with a radius of 40km coverage adding that there was still room for more services.
It is understood that frequency for services of national coverage are high in power to the extent that there is a limit on the number of usable frequencies that can be obtained from the band.
Mr Chikwinya said his committee will consider suggesting withdrawal of the frequencies currently being used by ZBC.
(Source : The Herald online, Zimbabwe)