Ofcom finds space for new HD DTT
February 6, 2013 11.10 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Ofcom has given details of plans for two temporary high definition DTT multiplexes. The channels, using capacity created by the digital switchover would sit alongside wireless microphone users and white space devices in one of the two recently cleared frequency bands.

The channels, using capacity created by the digital switchover would sit alongside wireless microphone users and devices.

The multiplexes would sit in the 600MHz band; the other at 800MHz is being auctioned for new 4G mobile services.

Spectrum will be awarded to a single operator that will manage access to the multiplexes. Prospective operators are being asked to notify Ofcom if they intend to apply for the licence.

News of the award, even if temporary, will be greeted with enthusiasm by broadcasters concerned they risk losing spectrum to telcos.

Ofcom says the move is in line with its long-term strategy of a future release of 700 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband, whilst protecting the on-going provision of DTT.

The possibility of a spectrum release was first mooted last November in Ofcom’s UHF strategy document.

A 2009 study by Arqiva showed spectrum would be available for two multiplexes provide around 10 HD channels using DVB-T2 and MPEG4 if two multiplexes were deployed.