Arqiva to build Gibraltar digital network
May 14, 2012 10.00 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Arqiva has won a £1 million contract to supply Gibraltar with a digital broadcasting network.

The ‘design and build’ contract with the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) covers the multiplexing and transmission for both digital TV and DAB digital radio.

On each of two television multiplexes Gibraltar will be able to transmit up to six programme services. Similarly with digital radio, the two multiplexes will each allow for four separate services.

Steve Holebrook, managing director of Arqiva’s Broadcast & Media business, said: “Our work implementing the UK switchover provides an opportunity for Arqiva to help other countries go digital and benefit from the pioneering work we have done over the last five years or so. We’re delighted to bring digital broadcasting infrastructure to Gibraltar, with all the benefits to consumers, broadcasters, the regulator and government.

Paul Canessa, chief executive of the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, added: “It’s very reassuring to have Arqiva building our new digital networks. It’s a big step for us and to have the acknowledged experts delivering our infrastructure means we can proceed towards our TV switchover with confidence.”

The 2006 ITU planning conference co-ordinated frequencies with Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Portugal that allocated the use of channels 30 and 56 for digital television and channel blocks 12B and 12C for digital radio.

The digital broadcasting network will be operational by December 31, 2012 allowing Gibraltar to meet its international obligation to close down its analogue television transmissions by that date.

There are no plans in Gibraltar to switch off FM radio.