Swedish Decision to Re-allocate 700 TV Spectrum Raises EBU Concerns

Last week the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) expressed serious concern over a Swedish government decision to reallocate the 700 MHz band to "other forms of use" from 2017 on, as such a fast switch over could likely jeopardize the integrity of the broadcast services in Sweden.

"Digital terrestrial television can’t move out of the 700 MHz [spectrum] in Sweden in the government’s proposed timeframe without substantial disruption to Swedish consumers," said EBU technology and innovation director, Simon Fell. "A smooth transition involves detailed planning and engagement with all sectors of the television industry."

An EBU statement said the move is being debated under ITU preparations for the WRC-15 conference where EBU and others plan to use the forum to highlight the importance of minimizing any interference to broadcasting by any future mobile services operating in the 700 MHz band. The statement said: "This process has yet to be completed, and there are currently more than 60 TV services operating in Sweden in the 700 MHz band that would need to be moved elsewhere to make room for the government’s plans. The shift will require new technologies, such as DVB-T2, whose launch will require a substantial financial investment by the broadcast industry and will disrupt digital terrestrial television reception for many Swedes without DVB-T2 compatible decoders."

Doug Lung

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.