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Spectrum damage ahead

16 September 2013
Spectrum damage ahead

The director of engineering of Brazil’s largest broadcaster TV Globo lambasted regulators including the ITU for ignoring the needs of broadcasters in their spectrum sale plans.

In fact, he went so far as to sat that this has the potential to cause "irreversible damage" to the future of the broadcasting industry.

"Unless we have changes in the approach from regulators I don’t think we have a future for broadcasters," TV Globo’s Fernando Bittencourt told the audience at the Money From Thin Air session about the future of broadcast spectrum.

The issue for broadcasters is around the sales by governments of scarce spectrum suitable for broadcasting high-quality services, like Ultra HD, as well as threatening the further development of DTT platforms. The fear is that governments will opt to sell the high-band spectrum, including the 700MHz band, to the highest bidder, giving the deep-pocketed telecommunications firms a big advantage.

Mike Short, VP Telefonica Europe, told the panel that he believes that collaboration between broadcasters and telcos is the best way forward, calling for both to agree to a ‘roadmap of action’ that would include agreeing standards for receivers on chipsets across both Europe and the US so it will have enough scale to be viable. He also called for integrating ‘DVB thinking’ into the standards plan. Vera Keneham, strategy manager for LTE Broadcast at Ericsson (pictured), added that LTE is ramping up very quickly with Qualcomm LTE chips being widely available this year.

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