UK broadcasters caution against allocation of more spectrum to mobile operators


by CBR Staff Writer| 23 January 2014

DTT delivers an average of £470m per MHz compared to £190m for mobile data.

A group of British broadcasters, dubbed Digital UK, including BBC, ITV and Channel 4, have cautioned that allocation of more radio spectrum to mobile phone operators could harm the TV market, which they claim contributes almost £80bn to the country's economy.

The umbrella body commissioned report claimed that TV delivers more value per unit of spectrum compared to mobile broadband, with the digital terrestrial television (DTT) delivering an average of £470m per MHz compared to £190m for mobile data.

Digital UK chief executive Jonathan Thompson said the report sheds new light on the value of DTT for viewers, the UK television sector and wider economy.

"With increasing demand for spectrum it is critical that DTT remains a strong proposition with the same coverage and range of channels viewers enjoy today,"' Thompson said.

The report also added that terrestrial television also supports 15,000 jobs and generates healthy competition between platforms, while allowing access to public service channels for free.

In addition, the average value per MHz of spectrum for DTT is anticipated to be 50% more when compared to mobile data, the report added.

Digital UK chair Caroline Thomson said that the health of digital terrestrial television (DTT) relies on spectrum which has been recognised as a finite resource and for which there is increasing demand from a range of alternative users and uses.

"We must ensure that decisions taken on future use of spectrum avoid a detrimental impact on consumer choice, platform competition, content investment and the wider creative industry and its ability to drive jobs and growth," Thomson said.

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