Bangladesh broadcasts disrupted by WiMAX

Bangladesh’s broadcasting and cable and satellite TV operators, in co-ordination with the international satellite communications industry, have called for the Government of Bangladesh to take rapid action to halt the disruption of TV services suffered by millions of Bangladeshis.

The industry bodies said the technical interference is being caused by wireless broadband operators using newly introduced “WiMAX” technology.

The Bangladeshi and international industry organisations – the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB), the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), and the regionally-based Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) – met last week in Dhaka. The organisations are in co-ordination with the World Broadcasting Unions – International Satellite Operations Group (WBU-ISOG).

The industry groups said they are deeply concerned that wireless bandwidth used to distribute television services across the country and the rest of the region in the 3.5 GHz range — and now shared in Bangladesh with recently launched WiMAX operators — could close down hundreds of TV channels across the country.

“For instance, the largely unanticipated implications of the introduction of WiMAX services at 3.5 GHz is causing widespread transmission failures throughout the country and can be especially serious for news broadcasters which use the lower end of the Standard C-band spectrum” said Gregg Daffner, Chairman of CASBAA’s Wireless Action Group.

“However, there is a solution to this very serious problem,” said David Hartshorn, Secretary General of GVF. “The interfering WiMAX services can use other, less crowded frequencies.”

In other markets, WiMAX operators have successfully migrated from the 3.5GHz band, “so we know we can resolve the crisis in Bangladesh,” said Hartshorn.

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