Vodafone Deutschland will commence converting its cable network to fully digital TV and radio distribution from summer 2018 on a region-by-region basis.
The capacities vacated by the removal of all analogue channels will be used for fast internet access in gigabit speeds and more TV channels in HD quality. The gigabit speeds will be available to all 12.6 million cable households in the 13 federal German states served by Vodafone in the next years, according to the company. This corresponds with around one third of all households in Germany.
Flat-screen TV sets usually have an integrated digital DVB-C cable tuner, avoiding the need for a separate set-top-box. Viewers still using a tube TV set will require a digital receiver. For cable radio listeners wanting to continue receiving the digital channels with their analogue radio or stereo, Vodafone wants to introduce a cable radio receiver. The box will be plugged into the cable socket on the wall and connected to the radio with a cinch cable.
Vodafone will commence the first analogue switch-off project on January 9, 2018, in the Bavarian region Landshut/Dingolfing. The second project is planned for mid-May 2018 in an area affecting around 185,000 households, considerably more than the first project, according to industry sources. Further details are expected to be announced later this month.
In federal states Bavaria and Saxony, analogue switch-off of TV and radio channels on cable networks is fixed for December 31, 2018 by law. There are no comparable rules in the other 14 federal states. In spring 2018, Vodafone wants to announce the timetable for analogue switch-off across its whole cable network.
Unitymedia, Germany’s second-largest cable operator after Vodafone, has been offering only digital TV channels on its network since July 2017. North German cable operator wilhelm.tel will commence analogue switch-off in January 2018.