Thursday 27 February 2014

Swedish Television To Leave Upper UHF Band

Mobile Broadband taking over. DAB Radio to share the 200 MHz band with terrestrial digital television.
The Swedish government today decided that the UHF frequency band 694-790 MHz should be assigned solely to mobile communications from 2017.
Broadcasters now have 
three years to migrate from this space to 470-694 MHz and also coming back to the VHF band III 174-240 MHz.
This means that DAB radio will have to share the band with television (DVB-T). Already 2007 Finland has assigned this band exclusively for television and has also dismissed DAB/DAB+ for radio distribution.

There have been tough infighting between different parts the Swedish government regarding the issue of assigning the so-called 700 MHz band for broadband purposes instead of broadcasting. The decisive point is that mobile broadband is deemed as a utility which is good for societal, economical and technical development while television is regarded as carrying a lighter weight as being mostly an entertainment vehicle. Still also broadband will increasingly become a major radio and television distribution channel. Today, only 25 percent of the households in Sweden are receiving television via the digital terrestrial network. The major viewing is on cable and satellite. And on-line viewing is also increasing.

The Swedish decision comes as the European Commission "High-Level Group on the future use of the UHF band" with stakeholders from both broadcasters and telecom operators are working on a proposal to the Commission this summer. 

Being the first country to introduce the 800 MHz band for mobile communications Sweden is now also the first country in Europe to take a final decision on the 700 MHz band. Those bands are used for 4G/LTE and will also be used for next generation 5G. Also 450 MHz might be used in the future for mobile broadband.

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