EBU representatives observed with some interest recent demonstrations of Supplemental Downlink (SDL) performed by Nokia and Qualcomm. SDL is an innovative technology that could, under the right circumstances, benefit the distribution of public service media. At their 1st September event, these companies demonstrated mobile SDL in the lower UHF band, right where DTT services currently operate across Europe. Interestingly, the companies chose not to perform their demonstration in either of the bands earmarked for SDL’s use: 1.5 GHz band and in the duplex gap of the 700 MHz band.
Simon Fell, Director of Technology and Innovation at the EBU stated: "Public Service Media organisations have shown themselves to be most innovative when it comes to the distribution of their services. Indeed, EBU Members are trusted and popular brands in the online environment. But the bread-and-butter of the TV industry remains linear TV, and DTT is at its centre. DTT is thriving, and must continue to do so in the face of unproven technical solutions from the mobile sector. The EBU will continue to study the technical, commercial and regulatory opportunities for SDL, but its use should be restricted to the frequency bands assigned for this. When using interleaved spectrum in the lower UHF band, SDL would interfere with existing DTT services and would reduce to almost zero the remaining available spectrum for PMSE in this band. These problems, along with many others, remain to be solved”.