A draft plan to digitalise radio and television broadcasts at a cost of roughly 4.4 trillion VND (231.2 million USD) has been published by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Once the period for expert comment expired, the revised plan would be submitted for approval, the ministry said.

The ministry estimated digital TV would be available nationwide by 2020.

Developing the digital television market would involve the participation of eight enterprises, said deputy director of the ministry's broadcasting department Nguyen Phong Nha.

The plan would be implemented gradually and would depend on a locality's socio-economic development and television broadcast situations.

Key targets will be to assist people to buy digital television equipment, investigate methods of using television and improve knowledge about digital television channels.

The expected funds required – 1.3 trillion VND – will come from the State public telecommunications services fund.

Setting up local digital TV will be controlled by licensed agencies.

The department said there were 47 licensed cable TV services providers nationwide who had 2 million subscribers, 20 times more than in 2003.

The number of channels offered by cable TV providers had doubled since 2003, with each offering an average of 45-50 channels, the department said./.