Serbia prepares for digital switchover
February 1, 2013 10.27 Europe/London By Robert Briel

The republic of Serbia is drafting until 2016 a new law on electronic media, which is expected to be approved in the second quarter of 2013.

A DVB-T2 trial has been on air since March 2012, and is now reaching 40% of the population. There are 10 television channels in SD (RTS 1, RTS 2, RTS Digital, RTV 1, RTV 2, Pink, B92, Prva, Happy, Studio B) and one in HD resolution (RTS HD) available on the initial trial network.

In March 2012 the national switchover strategy was amended. Due to non-availability of sufficient radio frequency spectrum for simulcasting, the approach to digital switchover needed to be changed.

The previously determined ASO date (April 4, 2012) was postponed to no later than June 17, 2015. It was also decided that the process of digital switchover will be conducted in phases (“digital islands” principle).

In June 2012, the regulation of switchover from analogue to digital television broadcasting and multiplex access in digital terrestrial broadcasting was adopted. The act determined requirements for switchover from analogue to digital television broadcasting in each of the regions and the rights and obligations of broadcasters in the process of switchover to digital broadcasting.

In October 2012 the Government of Republic of Serbia adopted the Plan on determining the allocation of radio-frequency spectrum, which takes into consideration the ongoing process of the terrestrial broadcasting digitalisation.

However, there are some concerns about the legality of the funding of the regulators.