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WRC-12 Update: 700 MHz TV Band Spectrum Relocation Debated

As I reported two weeks ago, the World Radiocommunications Conference 2012 (WRC-12) continues through Feb. 17. Discussion about proposals to reallocate the 700 MHz band to mobile services has created friction between African and Arab nations who support the reallocation and the European delegates who oppose it.

Broadband TV News provides some insight in its article Europe angered by mobile spectrum proposal. In the article, the EBU is quoted as saying "Such a decision would cause considerable problems in Europe, where the 700 MHz band is heavily used for terrestrial broadcasting with, in many cases, long-term licensing arrangements in place. Broadcasters also consider this band as being crucial to the future development of innovative new terrestrial services."

Julian Clover, author of the article, noted that "An agreement reached [at] the WRC-07 conference reallocated the 800 MHz band from broadcasting and [made] it available to mobile services. At the time it was not anticipated that a second request might be made for further spectrum." reported in its article Arab and African countries press for second digital dividend at WRC that "While a reallocation of spectrum in the 700MHz band could align Europe with the rest of the world, defenders of use of the spectrum for broadcast applications maintain that there is already sufficient spectrum available for mobile applications in non-UHF bands, notably the 2.5 GHz band, which is well-suited to meeting peak load requirements in densely populated urban areas. It is argued that the use of UHF is more suited to less populated areas, where peak loads do not normally occur.""

The article noted that discussions were continuing in hopes of reaching a compromise.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.