Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards has said it would be possible to develop a radical single frequency network re-plan of Digital Terrestrial Television across Europe.
In a speech to the ECTA regulatory conference, Richards said such a move could be made possible through the introduction of substantially more efficient compression and broadcasting technologies including DVB-T2 and MPEG 4.
“As we begin to contemplate the possible co-existence of Digital Terrestrial Television and mobile services in the 600-700MHz bands, we need to think about the changes that lie not very far beyond this,” said Richards. “These will come about as much as a result of smaller, technologically driven developments as by international harmonisation agreements”.
Richards pointed towards plans by local TV and white space devices. to make more intensive use of interleaved spectrum. “We might even look to the end of second-generation transmission, and the shift to even more efficient third generation standards, including Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) antennae and High Efficiency Video Coding compression”.
He said that Ofcom would consider at what point in time any possible future rebalancing of the use of UHF spectrum bands IV and V could be implemented. The assessment would include the question of the 600MHz band now being cleared in the UK as part of the transition from analogue to Digital Terrestrial Television.
The 700MHz band, planned for a reharmonisation across Europe, would give the opportunity to replan DTT to free some 1 GHz of capacity, allowing for further development of mobile broadband.