Vietnam plans to cease broadcasting analogue TV in the five biggest cities by 2015 as digital TV takes over.

According to Information and Communications Minister Nguyen Bac Son, digital TV is an irreversible trend all over the world.

Doan Quang Hoan, director of the Radio Frequency Agency, the project to convert to digital transmission by 2020 will lead to better quality.

Under the transition project, households will have access to digital TV in a variety of forms by 2020.
The State will help about 2 million poor families buy set-top boxes to decode digital TV signals.

Asked about the budget for the programme to help the poor, an official from the ministry said it would come from the public interest telecommunication fund and from auction of television frequencies.

Under the project, future TV companies will concentrate on developing content, while other companies will take charge of broadcasting.

According to the ministry, from June, TV stations will have to report to provincial leaders about implementing digitalisation programmes.

It will be carried out in four phases covering different groups of provinces and cities.

In the first phase, the plan will be implemented in Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City , Hai Phong, Da Nang and Can Tho. Switching to digital TV will be made before December 31, 2015.

In the second phase, with the deadline by December 31, 2016, the plan will be carried out in 26 provinces.

The third phase, by December 31, 2018, will be launched in 18 provinces and the fourth one will see digitalization be implemented in remote provinces in the north and the central region.-VNA