Speaking in an interview with TASS, Alexei Volin, deputy minister of digital development, communications and mass communications, added that there is a clear understanding this will happen, with the process, now subsidised from the state budget, initially taking place in cities with less than 100,000 people.
Volin also said that there is likely to be a rush in demand for receivers. As viewers will leave buying them until the last minute, the ministry has agreed with the transmission companies to smoothly phase out signals in the first 10 days of the New Year.
At the same time, regional broadcasters will be able to continue offering analogue TV services for as long as they wish.
The typical cost of a digital set-top box is around R700-800 (€8.9-10.1).