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Spain’s second major DTT migration has cost around €103 million, well below the estimated figure of €280 million, according to the Ministry of Industry.
The ministry ended up receiving 316,552 applications for subsidies claiming back the cost of retuning DTT aerials and has so far paid out around 76 per cent of the total. The difference between the initial amount set aside and that eventually needed will be returned to the public coffers.
The migration was completed on March 31st with around 13 million households having retuned their antennas so that the 800 MHz band frequencies used by DTT channels could be released for 4G deployment. A third migration will need to take place before 2020 to release the 700 MHz band for next generation mobile services.
The government will also have to compensate the telcos by extending their licences by 1.27 days per each day of delay totalling a further 115 days. Additionally, if the telcos decide to take the case to court, they could be compensated with €9 million a month (€300,000 a day) for the delay in releasing the planned frequencies.
Telcos should have started providing their 4G services in the 790- 862 MHz band from January 1st. Their plans had to be re-scheduled, after paying €1.2 billion in the auction of the frequencies and now it is thought that the full 4G capacity will not be completed until 2018.