Ljajić: The completion of the digitalization process is possible by the end of 2014

The transition to digital signal in Serbia could be completed by the end of this year, although the official deadline is June 17, 2015, said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajić.

The minister told BETA that he expects two new laws, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, to be passed in the first half of the current year; there is already a public debate on these laws, which will create the legal basis for the acceleration of digitalization.

Ljajić noted that there are ongoing negotiations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on securing a favorable loan for the completion of the digitalization process in Serbia.

“It is good news that we now need 35 million euros instead of the initial 70 million euros in order to complete the process of digitalization”, said Ljajić.

According to him, the benefits for citizens form the digitalization of TV signal are better quality picture and sound, receiving the services provided by operators, while the country will receive substantial financial resources form the “digital dividends”.

Ljajić recalled that the digitalization process in Serbia was seriously halted by the lack of free frequencies, but that the process was “de-blocked” by the use of the frequencies of TV-Avala for this purpose.

“Surely, without the free TV frequencies the process would have been a lot more difficult and it is a question whether we would have been able to meet the deadline without them. Now we have expanded the initial network and the digital signal has, through that network, covered an area of 75% of the population of Serbia using the test signal”, said Ljajić.