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ABU supports work to protect broadcasting spectrum

The ABU says it fully supports the world’s broadcasters in opposing changes to the allocation of digital TV and satellite distribution spectrums.

The ABU worked with the World Broadcasting Union’s Technical Committee in formulating recommendations on spectrum allocation to go before the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) in Geneva, Switzerland, next year.

The Union’s Technology Director, Dr Amal Punchihewa, says the ABU fully supports the work done by the WBU and its fellow broadcasting unions to protect important spectrum for broadcasting services.

“As radio spectrum becomes more crowded, it is vital to protect its integrity for broadcasters who serve billions of viewers and listeners around the world,” he says

The WBU recommendations state that the use of radio-frequency spectrum by broadcasters remains “an important vehicle for the efficient and scalable delivery of high-quality media content and emergency alerting services to both fixed and mobile audiences”.

Specifically on DTV, the WBU does not support any change to the current spectrum allocations at UHF frequencies (470 –694/ 698 MHz), stating that contiguous spectrum should be allotted in the bands assigned to the broadcast service to allow for the robust delivery of high-quality media content, data and signalling that meets or exceeds the capabilities of current fixed and mobile reception and display devices as well as those that are expected to be deployed in the future. 

It also does not support any change to the current spectrum allocations at C-band or extended C-band satellite distribution frequencies. 

The WBU states: “The use of downlink spectrum allocated at C-Band (3.7 – 4.2 GHz) or extended C-Band in the Fixed-Satellite Service is essential to broadcasters’ operations around the world.  Systems employing this FSS band have been extensively deployed over decades, primarily for the distribution of content from network centres to affiliated stations, cable head-ends and to other receiving systems.” 

The WBU says its position has been supported by spectrum studies of both UHF and C-band frequencies that have demonstrated that major interference to broadcast operations would result from sharing these bands with International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT).  These studies have been filed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

It adds: “The WBU will continue to participate actively in spectrum studies of the radio-frequency bands both assigned and associated with broadcasting, in order to ensure the continued efficient use of these bands for broadcast media content distribution.”