Flanders to start DTT tender

The Flemish Government has said it will shortly open a tender for seven DVB multiplexes and one DAB multiplex. The licence will be issued following a beauty contest. An official announcement will be made in the Belgian national paper, Belgisch Staatsblad.

Flanders has a total of eight multiplexes for television (DVB), and three for digital radio (DAB). The government has already issued one DVB and one DAB multiplex to the public broadcaster VRT. These TV and radio multiplexes have been on the air for a couple of years and are broadcast free-to-air (FTA).

The Flemish Government has decided that in the first round of licences for the remaining seven multiplexes for digital television (including one multiplex consisting of remaining frequencies) and a single multiplex for digital radio will be issued. A second DAB multiplex will become available at a later stage.

The government intends to issue all the DVB multiplexes to a single applicant. At least one of the multiplexes needs to be used for DVB-H in order to promote mobile TV reception. The issue of the licences is governed by a decision of the Flemish Government made on July 18 this year.

Flanders will switch off its analogue terrestrial television signals on Monday, November 3. It is thought about 60,000 homes that only receive television over the air will be affected. A further 80,000 to 180,000 homes with dual reception mode will also lose their analogue signals.