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However, whilst Ofcom has allocated the frequencies, the actual auction to sell them to telephone companies has been stopped pending legal arguments, so the start date for these services in 2013 may continue to optimisitic.
The channels in the 700MHz band are allocated currently to Freeview services, but the use of these frequencies in the largest 4G market, the USA (for Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility) has prompted Ofcom to discuss if these channels could also be used in the UK in the future for 4G.
At digital switchover, for simplicity to the consumer, transmitters kept the three PSB multiplexes in the "correct" aerial group. This provided for a straightforward switchover, but has required allocation of frequency resources that was not optimal.
The Arqiva planning document looked at three possibilities.
The first is to use the "600MHz band" range for just the three COM Freeview multiplexes using the "extended services" plan (two MFN, one SFN), and to replan all the transmitters so that the 12 channels in the "700MHz band" be deallocated.
The second was to use the initial plan, but to add to it the reuse of some of the gaps in the PSB multiplex plan to extend the COM coverage.
The third plan has the three COM multiplexes recreated on C22, C25 and C28 as SFN (single frequency networks), with the "600MHz band" added to the existing frequencies, minus the "700MHz band" to recreate the PSB three multiplex coverage.
The first plan would keep the PSB coverage, but reduce the COM coverage by 9.6%, 11.6% and 2.5%. The second plan has the same PSB coverage, but 2.5%, 2.5% and 4.2% loss of COMs, and the final one COM loss is 0.9%, 0.6% and 1.3%.
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David Jackson Sunday 13 May 2012 9:36PM
It does seem silly that we could be heading down the road of incompatibility re 700Mhz/4G. We went thru all this rubbish about standard interfaces with RS232; don't people ever learn?
If US have got there first and settled the broadcast frequencies, then surely , while changing everything around ourselves, does it not make sense to adopt same specification?? I read somewhere that Apple have run into trouble selling iPad with 4G in Australia because it does not work with Australian system;need I say more??
With this sort of cutting up of the band I would suspect that the long term aim is to eliminate terrestrial TV altogether. Even with "lite only" repeater stations it will become more difficult to allocate Muxes, and with "HD" likely to become the norm, then there won't be room.
Receiver desensing is going to more of a problem in fringe areas, with 4G signals swamping amplifiers. It's a recipe for a long term decline of a universal service.
Andy: Is HD likely to become the norm? What about standard definition, DVB-T2? This allows for the greatest number of channels to be fitted into each mux, which is what the mux owners are interested in. HD is likely to be a subscription based service for those who particularly want it. The German TV channels seem to be going down that road too. A few years ago it was thought that stereo radio was the future. It is now not unusual to see radio stations opting for mono transmission on DAB in order to fit in more stations, and reduce transmission costs.
Coco the clown Friday 23 November 2012 10:05PM Gainsborough
Where is common sense? Why could they not take it into GHz?
I'm not a expert in aerials, but I thought higher frequencey the smaller aerial needed? Plus higher frequencys travel better in air? Am I right:/
David Robbins Wednesday 10 April 2013 3:47AM Chester Le Street
Why do they have to sell off part of the UHF spectrum to mobile phone operators?
Couldn't they have used the unused VHF band for mobile phones?(VHF is unused isn't it?)
Wasn't one of the reasons why they wanted to switch off the analogue transmissions to stop interference?
Am receiving Pontop Pike. With the two new muxes coming soon which are C33 and C34 that means for a lot of people here a change of aerial. A lot of people here still have a C/D band aerial, upgrading to a wideband aerial wasn't needed as all channels were in between C48 and C68. This is an unneeded expense that a lot of people can't afford. Who's got £100 spare up here these days?