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EBU states aim to protect UHF spectrum for broadcasting

Speaking at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 in Dubai, the EBU's Walid Sami stressed the importance of the event for the world's broadcasters, and particularly for public service media

The EBU’s Walid Sami has shared his optimism that UHF spectrum used by broadcasters for both content production and distribution would be preserved for these purposes in an interview with the ITU at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) in Dubai.

Referring to the use of the UHF band 470–694 MHz for digital terrestrial television broadcasting and PMSE (programme making and special events) applications, like wireless microphones, he said, “We are confident that we will succeed to protect this spectrum for the public good. This is the only remaining spectrum for broadcasting and for the cultural industry.”

The EBU and its members are present in Dubai for WRC-23 to ensure the position of public service media is taken into account in the complex negotiations. During the interview, Sami added that all decisions at a WRC must be based on consensus, which can be extremely difficult when there are opposing positions.

The EBU said that it has “been preparing for WRC-23 ever since the previous such gathering, in 2019 in Sharm el-Sheikh, developing a coordinated approach across the membership, conducting influential studies and assessing the positions of other stakeholders. A white paper, No change at WRC-23 maximizes public value and innovation in the UHF bandsets out the EBU’s position that no change to the spectrum allocation in the 470–694 MHz band should be made under Agenda Item 1.5.”