A new study published by the European Commission supports the EBU position that there should not be any change in the way that UHF spectrum is allocated in Europe. The study makes clear that both digital terrestrial television (DTT) and wireless audio equipment for programme making and special events (PMSE) will continue to require the sub-700 MHz spectrum currently used.
Carried out by LStelcom and VVA, the study reveals a wide range of views across EU member states, with different trends and contexts in each country. For this very reason, however, there is little scope for consensus on any large change to the current approach. Indeed, a majority of member states indicated that they do not have sufficient information to comment on the likelihood of additional sub-1 GHz spectrum being required for mobile services.
Next year’s ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) will consider, among other things, the future use of the UHF band. European regulators and administrations are currently defining their approach to this question, with the EBU urging a ‘No Change’ position.
While the importance of DTT varies from country to country, opening the spectrum it currently uses to mobile services would require a significant coordination effort across the continent. Furthermore, the trend for PMSE services is of increasing needs for UHF spectrum, which is ideally suited to the stringent technical requirements of this sector.
With the study having been published on 16 November, the EBU is now analysing its results and preparing to comment in detail.