Eric Besson, the French minister of industry, announced yesterday during the New Year’s reception of the National Frequency Agency (ANFR) his willingness to move quickly to MPEG-4 and introduce DVB-T2 for digital terrestrial television.
The minister also plans to assign the frequencies freed up by switching off the analogue broadcasts to mobile services, most likely to be LTE licences as in other European countries.
All French analogue broadcasts will be terminated and the new frequencies might be allocated to mobile internet operators in November this year.
Although a switch to DVB-T2/MPEG-4 would increase the number of channels available on the terrestrial network, which the French call TNT, such a move would make all current DVB-T/MPEG-2 receivers obsolete.
At the moment, all free-to-air DTT channels are available in DVB-T/MPEG-2, while all HD and premium channels use DVB-T/MPEG-4.