The Mexican government plans to provide free high-definition televisions to low-income households to speed along its transition to digital broadcasting.

The project would start with a pilot programme in Tamaulipas state with two suppliers, Foxconn Technology Group and Diamond Electronics, the Communications and Transportation Ministry said on Friday. In May, the government would solicit bids for nationwide television distribution.

The giveaway is part of Mexico’s plan to help viewers switch to digital signals so broadcasters can stop using analog airwaves. That will free up wireless spectrum that the government can reassign for other uses, such as wireless internet access.

The 24-inch televisions had low energy consumption, high picture quality and HDMI and USB ports to connect with other devices and the internet, the ministry said. – Bloomberg