Spain’s DTT migration plan at risk
February 22, 2019
From David Del Valle in Madrid
The Government’s call for elections in April 2019 may endanger the DTT migration scheduled to start this month.
Recently, the Spanish Administration approved by Royal Decree a new DTT plan that paves the way for the second digital dividend to be completed before June 30th 2020.
Under the new DTT plan, broadcasters must release the current 694-790 MHz band in favour of 5G services and use the 470-694 MHz band with radioelectric channels from 21 to 48. Broadcasters will operate the same and current eight digital multiplexes (RGE1, RGE2, MPE1, MPE2, MPE3, MPE4, MPE5 and MAUT) with a nationwide and regional coverage but must migrate to HD before January 1st 2023.
The Plan states that each digital multiplex will have a capacity of four HD TV channels. It reuires all manufacturers to market HD-equipped STBs from the sixth month after the Royal Decree’s approval and in high capacity STBs the obligation of incorporating UHD and DVB-T2 functionalities as well as the HbbTV feature. Manufacturers will have to specify clearly the characteristics of the STBs devices to avoid any confusion.
With the new plan, the Administration claims that the continuity of DTT is “guaranteed and safe” with the new band being used at least until 2030.
The new Plan, though, does not include any financial aid to carry out the migration as announced the Government which has only included €50 million towards this in the still to be approved General State Budget.