DigiTAG seeks to inform members and non-members about important developments in the digital terrestrial television market. Each month, DigiTAG distributes its web letter with news updates and further exploration of one topic.
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Italy completes analogue
DTT NEWS ROUND-UP
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United Kingdom - Ofcom issues plans for 4G auction
The communications regulator Ofcom has opened a statutory consultation on its plan to auction spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands for the provision of mobile broadband services. This statutory consultation is open until 11 September.
According to the draft decision, Ofcom would like to begin the auction process by the end of the year so that services could launch by the end of 2013. According to Ofcom, prospective bidders will need to submit their application to participate in the auction by the end of the year and the bidding will take place in early 2013. License holders will be able to roll-out their networks in mid-2013.
Source: Ofcom website
Ireland - ComReg opens consultation on broadcast network market
The communications regulator ComReg has opened a consultation on broadcast transmission services in Ireland. The consultation seeks to determine whether ex-ante regulation remains relevant given the launch of the DTT platform.
The consultation also seeks to identify and propose any remedies that should be applied.
Source: ComReg website
Bulgaria - ASO confirmed for September 2013
The deputy transport minister, Valeri Borisov, has confirmed that analogue switch-off will be completed in September 2013.
In addition, he noted that the free-to-air DTT platform will allow viewers to access 12 free-to-air television programme services.
Source: Broadband TV News
Czech Republic - CRa begins DVB-T2 trial
The broadcast network operator České Radiokomunikace (CRa) has announced the launch of its DVB-T2 trial which started on 17 July.
The trial is taking place at the Zizkov transmitter in Prague and the Krkavec transmitter in Pilsen. The trial will be available for one full year in Prague and until the end of the year in Pilsen.
Source: České Radiokomunikace website
Poland - TVP broadcasts UEFA final in 3D/DTT
The public service broadcaster TVP broadcast the final of the UEFA European Football Championship in 3D on the DTT platform from TVP HD.
At its peak, the final attracted 369,000 viewers who were able to access the content in 3D.
Source: TVP website
France - In-depth investigation of proposed Canal+ entry into free-to-air DTT market
The Competition Authority has announced that it will open an in-depth investigation of the planned acquisition of Direct Star and Direct 8 by the media group Canal+.
In December 2011, the media group Canal+ announced plans to acquire a majority stake in two television programme services on the free-to-air DTT platform, Direct Star and Direct 8. As the leading provider of pay television services, including on the DTT platform, the planned acquisition could lead to competition issues in the free-to-air broadcast market. As a result, the Competition Authority has opening of an in-depth investigation (phase 2) of the proposed acquisition.
Finland - DNA hopes for strong DTT growth in 2012
The DTT platform operator DNA has issued its financial results for 2011.
Following the launch of its DTT service offering in August 2011, it has had limited growth. However, it is hopeful for strong growth in 2012 following the addition of new television programme services, including sports content.
Source: DNA website
United States - Unlicensed mobile devices unlikely for next few years
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), unlicensed mobile devices will not be able to make use of the white spaces between television channels for the next several years due to technical challenges that have yet to be resolved.
In addition, the makers of the unlicensed mobile devices will need to know what frequencies broadcasters will use following the completion of the so-called incentive auctions for inclusion in their chips. These incentive auctions will use frequencies voluntarily relinquished by broadcasters who, in turn, may need to re-locate to alternative frequencies. The FCC has called for these auctions to take place by 30 June 2014.
Source: Broadcasting & Cable
Lithuania - 21% of households continue to use analogue terrestrial platform
The pay-DTT service provider, TEO, has given its assessment of digital switchover 100 days prior to the completion of analogue switch-off.
Switch-off is set to take place nationwide on 29 October.
Source: TEO website