Broadcasting will remain the only primary service in the frequency band 470–694 MHz across ITU Region 1, which includes Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia. The decision is a boost to EBU Members, who rely on the UHF band for terrestrial television services and PMSE (programme making and special events) applications.
The ITU World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-23) in Dubai concluded its work on 15 December 2023. About 3,900 delegates from 163 countries deliberated on the future usage of a wide range of radiofrequency bands.
Several agenda items were important for EBU Members, in particular the one related to the UHF band. The final agreement at WRC-23 retains the primary allocation to broadcasting services in the 470–694 MHz band in Region 1 and provides an opportunity for mobile services on a national basis.
The regulatory status of PMSE (programme making and special events) applications, like wireless microphones, remains unchanged.
A review of spectrum use and future needs is foreseen at WRC-31.
“This is a positive outcome for EBU Members as it accommodates the key elements of the EBU's position,” said EBU Director of Technology & Innovation Antonio Arcidiacono. “Most EBU Members use DTT (digital terrestrial television) and all of them use PMSE – and the UHF band is the only globally available spectrum for these services. The WRC-23 decision ensures continued access to spectrum and stable regulatory conditions, which are essential for investments and the evolution of DTT and PMSE, including the introduction of new technologies such as UHDTV, 5G Broadcast and WMAS (wireless multichannel audio systems).”
The EBU and its Members have substantially contributed to WRC-23 preparations and have actively participated in the conference, in collaboration with other DTT and PMSE stakeholders, including several European and African administrations.