German pilot uses 'digital dividend'
Jörn Krieger

WDR, a regional affiliate of Germany’s public broadcaster ARD, has launched a pilot project for wireless broadband internet access from its transmission site in Nordhelle in federal state North Rhine-Westphalia.

For the first time in Europe frequencies will be used which have been made available through the digitalisation of terrestrial television – the so-called digital dividend. The project, which will employ the new transmission technology LTE, is being conducted by WDR in collaboration with North Rhine-Westphalia’s local government, the state’s media authority and mobile network operator Vodafone.

“The internet is becoming increasingly important as a distribution method. LTE offers many opportunities for accessing radio and television programmes using mobile devices,” said Heinz-Joachim Weber, WDR’s director of production and technology.

He added that WDR was also participating in the project in order to ensure that other distribution methods won’t suffer from signal interference, for example DTT or cable television. Furthermore, WDR wants to test the LTE technology, which enables a data rate of up to 100 Mbit/s, for feeding live radio and television reports from its correspondents to its headquarters.