Japan’s government is readying the launch of digital terrestrial television, clearing the required airwaves of analogue broadcasts and organising the retuning of the nation’s TV sets.

DTT is due to commence in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya metropolitan areas in December. If all goes to schedule, digital broadcasts will replace all existing analogue services nationwide by 2011.

To this end, the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications is allocating ¥180 billion ($1.5bn; €1.4bn; £0.9bn) over the next six years to changing channel settings on TV sets in 4.26 million homes across the country. This task has been handed to private firms, who begin visiting households next week.

The cash will also be spent on shifting some analogue broadcasts to a new frequency range to avoid a clash with the DTT signal. This overlap between frequencies is only a problem in certain areas, such as the northern Kanto area and the regions around the Inland Sea and Ariake Sea.

Data sourced from: Asahi Shimbun (Japan); additional content by WARC staff