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DNA welcomes delay in DVB-T2 plan as dispute rumbles on

Finnish telecom operator, broadcaster and digital-terrestrial TV platform provider DNA has welcomed a delay by the country’s broadcasters in migrating to DVB-T2 transmission standard, which it said would be “positive for consumers”.

“The decision by domestic TV companies to move the schedule is a good solution for consumers. It makes sense to take account of current device ownership and provide households with additional time to upgrade their reception equipment,” said Pekka Väisänen, SVP, consumer business at DNA.

“HD terrestrial services have already fulfilled expectations and we are working actively to ensure that the remaining households on the terrestrial network can easily and smoothly move into the HD era before the broadcast of standard resolution channels ends.”

DNA has been locked in a legal dispute with public broadcaster Yle over the terms of Yle’s call for tenders for DVB-T2 distribution of its channels, which the service provider says runs contrary to the terms of the country’s procurement rules.

Yle had in February published and then suspended a tender for transition to DVB-T2, before publishing a new tender document this month. However, DNA claims that the tender favours its competitor Digita.

DNA appealed to the country’s Market Court over the issue, claiming that Yle’s tender aimed to impose responsibility for ensuring that properties are equipped with antennas on the network operator.

In practice, it says, this requirement would unfairly penalise DNA, as VHF frequencies require separate VHF antennas on premises.

DNA argued that in the case of previous changes to digital-terrestrial transmission, antenna upgrades had always been the responsibility of individual property owners.

DNA currently distributes 17 HD channels via its VHF terrestrial network, including all of Yle’s HD channels, and those of the commercial broadcasters MTV3 and TV5 HD.

The operator has also introduced devices with a T2 tuner for watching high-definition channels.

The broadcasters, including Yle, have blamed the latest delay in the T2 schedule is due solely to DNA’s complaint. Yle said in a statement that it was looking at alternative ways to distribute HD channels.

DNA however has claimed that the insufficient number of T2 devices is an equally significant reason for pushing back the process.

“DNA’s VHF antenna network currently covers 85 percent of all Finns, and we have the capacity to expand it nationwide,” said Väisänen.

“DNA brought competition to the monopoly market in terrestrial networks. This was enabled by an advanced network based on our own infrastructure, which has put downward pressure on the traditional terrestrial network distribution costs and proven sensible in terms of both energy and spectral efficiency.”

Tags: DNA, DTT, DVB-T2, Finland, Yle