The Portuguese government is planning to increase the DTT channel offer and also improve coverage, according to a four-year programme submitted to Parliament.
The programme foresees a renegotiation with DTT network operator Portugal Telecom as well as with other relevant players, with the goal of expanding the capacity of the multiplexes. This would create the conditions for the increase in the number of DTT channels available to Portuguese viewers.
Portugal Telecom was selected as DTT network operator in October 2008 and the analogue switch-off in Portugal was completed in April 2012.
A total of five national TV channels are available on DTT – two from public broadcaster RTP (RTP 1 and RTP 2), commercial channels SIC and TVI, as well as ARTV (Parliamentary channel).
There have since been calls for the inclusion of the remaining six channels from the pubcaster (RTP Informação, RTP Memória, RTP Açores, RTP Madeira, RTP África and RTP Internacional).
Both SIC and TVI are known to be interested in launching HD versions of their channels.
However, any channel expansion would require the reconfiguration of the DTT network from Single Frequency Network (SFN) to Multiple Frequency Network (MFN).
Besides a modest channel offer, TV viewers in Portugal have also been suffering from coverage problems. Over the past three years, over 11,000 complaints were submitted regarding DTT reception. Around 7.5 per cent of viewers receive their digital TV channels in Portugal via satellite.