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EBU gives European digital TV plans nil points

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has criticised plans to use the 700MHz band, currently used for digital TV for mobile services instead.

It accuses the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG), the body charged with preparing an opinion on the use of spectrum for wireless applications for the European Commission of failing find any evidence that additional spectrum was needed.

The organisation responded to the RSPG’s draft opinion on spectrum demands for wireless services. The EBU said that the benefits of 700MHz spectrum re-allocation were not proven.

“Mandating the 700MHz band for use by mobile services is not acceptable. The incremental benefits are yet to be proven and the impact on incumbents and citizens has not been assessed,” said EBU director general Ingrid Deltenre.

“Digital Terrestrial Television makes more efficient use of spectrum than mobile broadband for continuous linear media distribution to large audiences.”

The 800 MHz band (i.e. 790-862 MHz) has already been lost to mobile broadband services in Europe and some regulators are considering whether to further reduce the amount of spectrum used for broadcasting in order to accommodate additional mobile broadband communications.

The draft opinion identified a number of ways of meeting demands for spectrum, including the 700MHz band and has proposed an EU-wide strategy on use of the spectrum in future.

Provisions on spectrum are expected to be included in proposals for a single market for telecommunications that the Commission will submit to EU leaders ahead of the European Council meeting in October.

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