EBU sounds alarm on Swedish 700MHz move

The EBU has expressed concern following last week’s decision by the Swedish government to open up the 700MHz spectrum band to non-TV applications.

The country’s IT and energy minister Anna-Karin Hatt said that the 700MHz band would be open to non digital-terrestrial TV applications from April 1 2017.

The EBU criticised the decision, saying that such a fast switchover will jeopardize the integrity of TV services in Sweden.

EBU technology and innovation director Simon Fell, said: “Digital terrestrial television can’t move out of the 700MHz in Sweden in the government’s proposed timeframe without substantial disruption to Swedish consumers. A smooth transition involves detailed planning and engagement with all sectors of the television industry.”

The move is currently being debated as part of the ITU’s preparations for its WRC-15 conference, where the use of 700MHz for mobile services is expected to feature heavily on the agenda.

Any switch from 700MHz services would involve significant disruption to TV services, requiring a shift to DVB-T2 technology to conserve bandwidth.

The Swedish government’s move was welcomed by telecom operator Telia, which said it would help it remove gaps in coverage for mobile services in remote areas, allowing mobile operators to provide high-speed coverage for the last 10% of households.

DTT transmission services provider Teracom said it was accelerating investment in more efficient TV transmission technology ahead of the 2017 deadline.

Tags: 700MHz, DTT, EBU, Sweden

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