Better Digital Dividend for UK
February 2, 2009
From Colin Mann in London
UK comms regulator Ofcom has revealed proposals to align more of the spectrum released as part of the UK’s digital dividend with other European countries. This will allow new wireless services, particularly mobile broadband, to be launched in the UK and across Europe
Ofcom says that following the UK's lead, a growing number of other European countries are to release a digital dividend, but within a slightly wider block of spectrum than the UK’s, at 790-862 MHz (the so-called 800 MHz band). Finland, France, Sweden and Switzerland have already decided to release this wider block of spectrum of 72 MHz. Ofcom expects a number of other countries to do likewise.
Accordingly, Ofcom is consulting whether the UK should align more of the spectrum it is releasing with the digital dividend in other countries, so that the whole 800 MHz band becomes available for new uses. Ofcom believes that the net benefits to consumers could be worth £2-3 billion over twenty years.
These proposals would mean some changes to the spectrum used by digital terrestrial television (DTT) services and wireless microphones. Some DTT viewers may need to re-tune their digital set-top boxes or integrated digital televisions.