At the United Nations World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15), which opens today, European public service broadcasters have stressed that any final agreement on spectrum allocation should reflect the reality of how content is consumed. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will give its support to the ‘no change’ position adopted by several regional organisations for the frequency range 470 – 694/698MHz.
The WRC is expected to lead to decisions on how spectrum is shared out among mobile and broadcasting services in the coming years. The EBU firmly believes that future mobile data traffic growth can be addressed without compromising the future of DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) which remains a popular medium, particularly as recent data shows that the majority of mobile content is consumed using fixed networks and WiFi.
The conference will consider additional spectrum bands for mobile broadband services, one of which is currently used for DTT and after the clearance of the 700MHz band will be the only UHF spectrum available for terrestrial television.
All but one of the regional regulatory organisations has made proposals to WRC-15 for ‘no change’ to this frequency band, and more than 630 broadcasting organisations have endorsed this position.
The EBU’s director of technology and innovation, Simon Fell (pictured), commented: “At WRC‑15, the EBU, with the broadcasters of the world, will of course defend the broadcasting sector’s remaining UHF spectrum, as we need to ensure that every citizen has access to broadcast services, wherever they may be.”
“We believe that as an industry we have been more than generous in releasing the 800MHz band for mobile in Region 1, and the 700MHz band is now also planned to be released,” he added.
Fell continued, “It is essential that enough time is given for a well-planned migration out of 700MHz, with due consideration of the costs for any re-assignment, and for careful frequency planning to minimise the resulting impact. Moreover, we will defend the use of the C‑Band as a critical component of content delivery worldwide in satellite distribution and, critically, in areas that suffer rain fade through normal means.”
“There is much we can do together with the mobile industry, but let us not persist with a winner-takes-all approach. Let’s be honest about our positions, and also generous in working together to find productive solutions for the future, whilst allowing our industries to develop and grow as they should.”