A new report for the European Commission says the economic case for moving from the high-power high tower (HPHT) of the DTT platform to the low-power low tower (LPLT) mobile platform has yet to be made.
Plumb and Farncombe says a converged platform is unlikely to be feasible before 2025 and that no immediate decision needs to be made by the policy makers.
Behind the findings are two major market uncertainties; the current uncertainty over the incremental value of releasing sub-700 MHz spectrum for mobile use and extent to which take-up of IPTV and OTT services might reduce demand for HPHT DTT networks. Both positions are likely to become clearer by 2020.
The study, Challenges and opportunities of broadcast-broadband convergence and its impact on spectrum and network use, was initiated by the Commission in January 2014, with a brief to explore future developments in the delivery of audio-visual and internet services over the next 15 years.
Plumb and Farncombe recommend the Commission and industry should consider how best to develop and implement comprehensive measures of video consumption, which are consistent across EU member states over time.
It says the current lack of consistent measurement of traditional linear TV and non-linear AV consumption needs to be fixed before decisions are made.
The report adds broadcast and mobile communities should investigate further the feasibility and cost of implementing co-channel SFNs. It points to very different views on costs and coverage of SFNs carried out by the BBC and ATDI (for Qualcomm).