08 Jan 2015

DIGITALEUROPE - White paper on Supplemental Downlink in the UHF Band

DIGITALEUROPE - White paper on Supplemental Downlink in the UHF Band


DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the intense discussion in the EU Commission, in RSPG and CEPT on the best possible future use of the valuable UHF spectrum resources in Europe for the emerging of a win-win situation for broadcast, mobile operators, consumers and industry.

For this discussion on the future of the UHF band (470-790 MHz), DIGITALEUROPE would like to suggest distinguishing between two distinct areas, differentiated by the affected part of the band, the applicable timing, and the maturity of the proposed options.

1. 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) 2017-2020:

With the WRC-12 decision on a co-primary allocation to the mobile service effective immediately after WRC-15, Europe has to decide on how to use the 700 MHz band over the rest of this decade. Europe can choose between a continued use for digital terrestrial television (DTT) via DVB-T or DVB-T2 or alternatively use for Mobile Broadband (MBB) via LTE-Advanced towards meeting the Digital Agenda for Europe targets of 30 Mbps to all by latest 2020. In 2013, DIGITALEUROPE has published a position which can be summarized as follows:

DIGITALEUROPE recommends repurposing the band for MBB but considers essential that a re-farming of the band is performed with no disruption of the DTT service and with minimum impact on the DTT consumers. The process should be prepared in close cooperation between Consumer Electronics (CE) and mobile industries, taking into account their respective roadmaps.

1. 470-694 MHz beyond 2020:

Related to above choice on the 700 MHz band, there is today a discussion on the longer term options beyond 2020 for band 470 – 694 MHz. Here, a discussion on technical possibilities of complementing usage or even converging usage of DTT and MBB has commenced:

– Converged service: Such an option can lead to innovation in terms of enhanced technologies and improved services, but is also likely to require new business and regulatory models, which renders it unpractical in foreseeable time.

– A separation into an even smaller band for DTT and a dedicated part for MBB such as currently discussed in the US regarding the 600 MHz band. This option reduces spectrum for DTT and causes a new disruption.

– The use of spectrum in a flexible way, allowing to introduce Supplemental Downlink where capacities are available.

DIGITALEUROPE sees this third option as a promising field to explore and recommends researching further in this area and developing concepts for the next decade. In the present document, DIGITALEUROPE would like to describe the state of the art of DTT and MBB, their evolution and discuss a flexible approach which could overcome the challenges whilst allowing for new possibilities: Supplemental Downlink in the band 470 – 694 MHz.

Back to Connectivity & infrastructure
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