Published: 08.49 Europe/London, April 1, 2011

Russia’s Ministry of Communications is looking into the possibility of employing the DVB-T2 standard for its upcoming DTT multiplexes. Pilot zones may be set up in a number of locations as soon as this May, with a final decision on the adoption of the standard being taken by the end of the year.

Comnews reports that one proposal is for these zones to be in Moscow, Sochi, Kazan and possibly Kaliningrad, and another in Siberia, the southern federal district and close to Moscow, in the latter case taking into account different climatic conditions.

Russia’s transition to digital broadcasting is now well under way, although it is increasingly felt in the local industry that it will not meet its 2015 ASO target date. Switching to DVB-T2 is likely to have an impact on the formation of the second and third DTT multiplexes.

Yuri Pripachkin, the president of the Russian cable association AKTR, has said he believes the general uncertainty over the transition to digital broadcasting in Russia is likely to benefit the country’s pay-TV market.

He predicts that by 2015, 60% of viewers will receive cable services (the current figure is around 40%), 30% DTH, IPTV or wireless and only 10% terrestrial TV.