The EBU has expressed serious concern at a Swedish government decision to reallocate the 700 MHz spectrum band to “other forms of use” from 2017, since such a fast switchover will jeopardise the integrity of TV services in Sweden.
Swedish viewers currently enjoy a broad range of terrestrial TV programmes, with around 2.8 million households relying on the platform for television services.
EBU Technology & Innovation Director Simon Fell, said: “Digital terrestrial television can’t move out of the 700MHz in Sweden in the government’s proposed timeframe without substantial disruption to Swedish consumers. A smooth transition involves detailed planning and engagement with all sectors of the television industry.”
Details of the latest move are currently being debated under International Telecommunication Union (ITU) preparations for the decisive WRC-15 conference. The EBU and others use this forum to highlight the importance of minimising any interference to broadcasting by any future mobile services that operate in the 700MHz band.
This process has yet to be completed, and there are currently more than 60 TV services operating in Sweden in the 700MHz band that would need to be moved elsewhere to make room for the government’s plans.
The shift will require new technologies, such as DVB-T2, whose launch will require a substantial financial investment by the broadcast industry and will disrupt digital terrestrial television reception for many Swedes without DVB-T2 compatible decoders.