EBU calls on lawmakers to preserve Lower UHF Band

A broad coalition of associations and companies in the European broadcasting industry have urged European lawmakers to preserve the Lower UHF Band (470-694 MHz) for broadcasting and wireless production equipment (PMSE: Programme Making and Special Events).

A total of 57 associations and companies from across 18 European countries making up Broadcast Networks Europe (BNE) have published a ‘Call to Europe’ ahead of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23), at which policymakers will decide on the future use of the Lower UHF Band. 

The decisions made at WRC-23 will impact 43% of homes (80 million) in the European Union that watch TV via digital terrestrial television. 

The letter states in full:

Call to Europe

Broadcasting and culture need frequencies for their work. These frequencies between 470 and 694 MHz are in danger. Europe must act and secure these frequencies!

Broadcasting needs UHF spectrum for easy, low-cost and therefore accessible terrestrial television transmission. Future broadcast technologies will allow the population to be reached directly on mobile devices. 

In the event of a disaster or of a crisis, terrestrial broadcasting ensures that the population remains informed about the situation, if necessary for days and weeks. Broadcasting transmissions have proved to be more secure regarding natural disasters.

Content producers (PMSE) – either professionals or amateurs – need UHF frequencies for the proper operation of wireless microphones, in-ear systems, talk-back systems and audio links, especially in the context of live events. It enables touring musicians and artists to travel throughout Europe with their own sound system and keeps churches, schools and all other types of meetings and associations running. In addition, broadcasting services need those devices for their high-quality productions. Trade fair organisers, universities and many others also depend on these frequencies.

The future use of this band after 2030 will be decided at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). Before then, all countries are developing their national position. All of Europe needs the frequencies from 470 to 694 MHz for culture and broadcasting.

Read Next