Portugal Telecom progresses on DTT

Portugal Telecom has revealed its plans for Portugal's DTT network should it gain the licenses which are up for grabs.
PT has been the only candidate to bid for both the free-to-air and pay TV licences whereas AirPlus TV has just presented one bid, for the pay TV service.

PT's proposal consists of launching an offer called Meo TD, based on Meo via IPTV and the Meo Sat satellite TV offering, within a year. The telco would also aim for analogue switch off at the end of 2010, a year before the European Union's global switch over for the whole of Europe. PT has also promised to cover 100% of Porugal's territory for the free-to-air channels - 87% by DTT and 13% by satellite on Hispasat – and 87% of the territory with the pay DTT channels.

As for Portugal's DTT plans the exact word is "uncertainty". Some Portuguese audiovisual companies have shown worries over the government’s plans. The country’s main private broadcaster SIC has concerns over the rational profitability of the radioelectric spectrum on the terrestrial network. It's also shown worries over the competition by other, already existing pay TV operators on satellite, cable and also IPTV in the sense there could not be market for all.

But one of Portugal's largest media groups, Media Capital, has shown interest in taking part in DTT but as part of a consortium. One company source declared "the DTT business is not clear because it suffers from being a long way behind other European countries where DTT has already taken big steps forward. Moreover Portugal is a small country, it's going through an economic crisis and last but not least it’s very rigid in terms of its advertising market".

Meanwhile, Pedro Morais Laitâo, from the Portuguese Confederation of Media, said he considered "unreal and agressive" the simulcast period Portugal will have to go through on is analogue switch off consisting of less than four years. Other countries where DTT is already operating will have problems in reaching analogue switch off in five years.