Six months after completing the digital migration, Spain is to face a new switch-off process as all DTT (National, Regional and Local) operators will have to change their frequencies long before 2015 following the allocation of the so-called digital dividend.
The Government hopes to approve the new migration plan in the first half of 2011 with the allocation of the 800 Mhz band (channels 61 to 69) to telco operators for broadband and mobile services. That band is being currently used by TV broadcasters, so they will have to move to another band of the spectrum. Even though the deadline for this is 2015, as was imposed by the EU, the Spanish Government plans to bring it forward.
TV broadcasters will have to simulcast during a transition period and in the end each national private TV channel (Telecinco, Antena 3, Cuatro, La Sexta, Veo TV and Net TV) will operate a multiplex with a capacity of up to 4 channels, with public TV group RTVE operating two multiplexes.
Broadcasters are refusing to finance the DTT upheaval and fiercely criticised the move accusing the Government of improvisation. The Government has agreed to pay the bill for the DTT upheaval which will also have a big impact on consumers who will have to retune their DTT devices and in many cases adapt the aerials at an estimated price of E125 and E650.