September 5, 2013 20.50 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul
The DTT platform Freeview is at the heart of British TV and will strengthen, not diminish, its position in the years to come, according to Charles Constable, MD, Digital Platforms Division, Arqiva.
Speaking at the Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar Mobile, TV and whitespace spectrum: regulation, competition and innovation, he added that demand for DTT is growing in the UK, with 1.2 million more homes choosing it as a primary service at the end of 2018 compared to at the end of 2011.
Sky’s growth, on the other hand, is only expected to be around a third of this.
Yet while DTT also has to embrace change, the 700MHz harmonization will require significant planning and will result in disruption.
Jonathan Thompson, CEO Digital UK, meanwhile said that there are other ways of increasing mobile capacity than by moving DTT services away from the 700 MHz band.
He, too, spoke strongly in favour of FreeView, dismissing suggestions that the platform’s development has stalled as “myths.”
Indeed, it is adding more HD channels, local TV and a growing number of connected services to its offer.
Thompson also said that a strong legacy is not enough and “standing still not an option”. It is important to think not just years but decades ahead.
Graham Plumb, head of TV and radio broadcast, Ofcom, also said there is a need to maintain DTT and that it was unlikely other platforms could substitute it by 2020.
In the proposed changes, mobile broadband would take up the 694-790 MHz band and Ofcom is trying to replicate the existing multiplexes in the process.