September 5, 2013 10.57 Europe/London By Julian Clover
47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have agreed on the frequency coordination required for digital switchover in 2015, the ITU has confirmed.
The consolidation of national plans is in lines with the deadlines of June 2015 (for UHF) and June 2020 (for VHF in 33 countries) set in 2006 by ITU’s Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06), which adopted the GE06 TV Plan.
The landmark will allow Africa to become the first region to be in a position to allocate the so-called digital dividend to mobile services for both 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands.
François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, announced that sub-Saharan African countries have begun submitting official modifications to the GE06 Plan following the final frequency coordination meeting held in Nairobi during July 2013 and the deadline of August 31 [sic] set for notifications.
“The objective was to enable African countries to allocate the digital dividend to mobile services in the band 694-862 MHz, as a regionally harmonized implementation of the decisions taken at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2012,” Rancy said. “This objective was reached by re-planning the spectrum requirements of television broadcasting in the 470-694 MHz frequency band.”
The influence of the African continent was said by some European broadcasters to be the reason behind the potential loss of broadcast spectrum in Europe to the telecom sector over the next few years.