The BBC and Arqiva have announced that the agreement to upgrade the relevant parts of the UK digital terrestrial television (DTT) transmission network to DVB-T2 has been confirmed.
The new DVB-T2 technology will deliver an increase in capacity of 67% to the BBC's Multiplex B, efficiently creating the space needed for UK public service broadcasters' HD transmissions. The BBC and Arqiva will be the first organisations in the world to deploy the DVB-T2 technology into full operational service across an entire transmission network.
The upgrade program, which runs alongside the BBC's main digital television transmission agreement, will start by launching Freeview HD services in the North West of England from December this year. From then on, the new technology will rollout with digital switchover at each transmitter, with most areas which have switched over already being upgraded before the end of 2010.
In addition, the BBC has made arrangements with Arqiva to build a small network of five additional transmitters which will bring HD services to certain key metropolitan areas ahead of their planned switchover dates. London will benefit from the end of 2009, with transmitters for Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, and Leeds/Bradford due to be on-air during spring 2010.