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Europe’s Mobile Providers Pressure Digital Radio, Digital TV Spectrum

Last year, Europe''s mobile service providers showed no interest in band III (174-230 MHz)

GENEVA�Last year, Europe”s mobile service providers showed no interest in band III (174-230 MHz). However, since the deployment of digital radio in many European countries is taking longer than originally planned, some mobile service providers want digital television transmission to move to band III, thus making available even more UHF spectrum for their purposes, according to EBU news.

EBU has stated the following as reasons why this transition is impractical:

� The spectrum in Band III is already in use in most of European countries for digital audio broadcasting, digital television, radio-microphones and other non-broadcasting services� The amount of spectrum in Band III, 56 MHz, is small compared with the spectrum planned for DTT in the UHF band. 392 MHz were planned in GE06 and 320 MHz are currently allocated to DTT after the release of the 800 MHz band. Therefore, a substantial compensation of lost UHF-Spectrum is not viable� Many European countries do not transmit TV signals in Band III. Antennas have been optimized accordingly to work on the UHF band only. Starting television services in Band III would require re-adapting antennas to tune to Band III. This would have a significant financial impact and would be very disruptive for users. The additional effort is disproportional to the hypothetical achievable benefit.

The growth of digital radio across Europe is in part due to the availability of band III. The 56 MHz width of the band cannot accommodate all the needs of digital radio and TV and thus Broadcasters should be in touch with their country”s regulators, making sure that they are aware of potential pitfalls of spectrum re-allocation.