Spain to license five more DTT channels

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 18 December 2014

Following the spectrum reorganisation which is moving all free-to-air (FTA) DTT networks to the 700Mhz band, Spain's Ministry of Industry has confirmed five new networks will be licensed within the first half of 2015, four high definition (HD) and one standard definition (SD).

tdtlogoThe country's FTA offer was drastically reduced last April when nine channels were closed down following a decision from the Supreme Tribunal backed up by the European Commission, but now minister Jos Manuel Soria is said to be ready to open a new bidding process to increase the FTA schedule.

During an event organised by Europa Press, Soria explained that firstly the spectrum reorganisation has to be concluded, as it's a process which has suffered too much delay. From 1 January 2015, the FTA channels have to leave the 800Mhz band, which will be taken by LTE technologies, and find a place on the 700Mhz band.

The reorganisation plan will adapt Spain's spectrum to the European regulation, a move originally planned to take place in January 2014. In addition to space being released for 4G, the new TV slots will have more capacity in order to improve DTT HD broadcasting.

The plan is affecting half of the aerials currently in use in Spain and the government will pay for adaptation in over a million buildings, spending nearly 300 million. The changes need to be done before the end of the year, otherwise the buildings will likely miss out on 10% of the DTT signal.