EBU concern at Swedish spectrum plans

March 5, 2014 09.53 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Simon FellThe European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has expressed serious concern over a Swedish government decision to reallocate parts of the 700MHz band to “other forms of use”.

Under proposals that would take place from the next licensing period space between 174 and 230 MHz, except frequencies used for digital radio, and 470-694 MHz may be used for terrestrial television until March 31, 2020 while broadcasting space 694-790 MHz may be used until 31 March 2017. The plan would see a reduction in terrestrial multiplexes from seven to five with no guarantee as to what would happen beyond April 1 2020.

EBU Technology & Innovation Director Simon Fell, said: “Digital terrestrial television can’t move out of the 700MHz in Sweden in the government’s proposed timeframe without substantial disruption to Swedish consumers. A smooth transition involves detailed planning and engagement with all sectors of the television industry.”

The Swedish Broadcasting Authority will now consider what consequences the decision may have for the terrestrial network and the ongoing licensing process.

A decision on new licences for terrestrial television is due in March 2014.