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Broadcasters Welcome WRC-15 Decision

UHF spectrum to remain allocated to broadcast services

The European Broadcasting Union issued a statement today saying it welcomed the decision made by WRC-15 delegates that the UHF spectrum would remain “exclusively allocated to terrestrial TV services in ITU Region 1 for at least the next decade.”

During the Nov. 26 session, representatives agreed that there would be no change to the allocation in the 470–694 MHz band now or at WRC-19 — in four years’ time. A review of the spectrum use in the entire UHF band (470-960 MHz) will next take place at the WRC in 2023.

“The worldwide community of broadcasters welcomes this important WRC-15 decision,” said Simon Fell, EBU director of Technology & Innovation. “So should the millions of viewers who rely on DTT to watch TV. Now that we have certainty on access to spectrum, the broadcasting industry can complete the transition to fully digital television broadcasting. We can also continue to innovate, and ensure that everyone has access to the benefits that new digital services bring,” he said.

The decision also met with approval from industry players from the radio sector. Patrick Hannon, WorldDAB president, commented that the decision brings benefit to both television and radio broadcasters.

“This decision is great news for free to air broadcasting,” said Hannon. “DTT now has a secure home in the UHF band — and, as a result, Band III remains available for DAB digital radio.”

Ruxandra Obreja, chairman for Digital Radio Mondiale concurs, adding that the decision will streamline the transition to digital.

“Digital Radio Mondiale commends the WRC-15 ITU announcement, which implicitly reaffirms the importance of terrestrial broadcasting and ensures the protection of spectrum necessary for digital TV as well as digital multi-standard radio,” she said. “This will allow for a well-planned transition to digital where we also see an important role for DRM in order to achieve a fully digital, commercially viable broadcast media.”

ITU Region 1 comprises Europe, Africa, the Middle East (west of the Persian Gulf), and the whole of the territory of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Ukraine.

— Marguerite Clark


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