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Countries gear up for transition to digital broadcasting

17 June 2015 deadline signals new era for TV and mobile services

Geneva, 26 February 2015 – As the deadline for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting approaches on 17 June 2015 (for UHF) and 17 June 2020 (for VHF in 33 countries) as set in provision 12.6 of the GE06 Regional Agreement, ITU plans to mark this particular date by organizing s symposium at its headquarters in Geneva to highlight the inherent advantages offered by digital terrestrial broadcasting.

On 16 June 2006, at the conclusion of the Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06) in Geneva, a Regional Agreement was signed by ITU Member States of Region 1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran for planning of the digital terrestrial broadcasting service, in the frequency bands 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz, heralding the development of ‘all-digital’ terrestrial broadcast services for sound and television.

The Regional Agreement, Geneva 2006 (GE06) for digital broadcasting services in the frequency bands 174 - 230 MHz and 470 - 862 MHz, marked the beginning of the end of analogue broadcasting.

As part of the decisions taken by the ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences in 2007 and 2012, the upper parts of the UHF band (800 MHz and 700 MHz) were allocated to the mobile service and identified for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT). These decisions prompted coordinated efforts in Europe, Africa and the Middle East to harmonize the use of the 800 MHz and/or 700 MHz bands in their respective regions for IMT while consolidating the use of the lower part of the UHF band by digital television broadcasting. These efforts have resulted in modifications to the GE06 Plan agreed by the interested countries in Europe and Africa and are still on-going between interested countries in the Middle East.

Once the transition to digital broadcasting is completed, these countries will be in a position to allocate the 700 MHz and/or 800 MHz bands as part of the so-called ‘digital dividend’ – to the mobile service for broadband mobile deployment.

“The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting will create new distribution networks and expand the potential for wireless innovation and services,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “New efficiencies in spectrum usage will allow more television channels to be carried across the airwaves and lead to greater convergence of services.”

For more information, please contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 5046
mobile +41 79 249 4861
email sanjay.acharya@itu.int
Grace Petrin
Communication Officer, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau
telephone +41 22 730 5810
mobile +41 79 599 1428
email brpromo@itu.int  

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