On 11 July Richard Lindsay-Davies provided an overview of the DTG's recent technical seminar on spectrum at the Communications Review Seminar 'Maximising the Value of Spectrum to Support Growth and Innovation'.
11 July 2012, London -- -Check against delivery-
Thank you, Minister [Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister]
The Digital TV Group is a not-for-profit membership association which brings together over 140 organisations drawn from right across the digital television industry.
This collaborative approach has been instrumental in the deployment of Freeview, digital switchover and, more recently, the launch of free-to-air high definition services on digital terrestrial television.
We have now begun to work with industry to apply our proven approach to future use of sub 1GHZ spectrum both through our industry working groups and a DCMS-supported test-bed facility housed at our laboratory in central London.
As part of this process we recently bought together broadcasters, manufacturers, mobile network operators, government, regulators and other stakeholders for a one-day seminar on the technical challenges of future spectrum use.
During the seminar our speakers and delegates discussed:
1. The consumer demand for mobile broadband
2. The challenges of DTT and 4G coexistence
3. Ofcom's view on the reorganisation of UHF
4. The importance of interoperability and conformance
5. The recent TV White Space trials
6. Managing DTT and TV White Space coexistence
7. Dynamic spectrum sharing using databases
8. International policy and spectrum management trends
It is important to understand that the success of digital switchover and resulting consumer confidence was built on a solid foundation of collaborative technical specification development, consumer research by both government and industry, extensive field trials, a pilot roll out and a robust independent test and conformance regime.
To give you a hint of what goes on behind the scenes, even the most recent switchover events were simulated on the DTG's receiver collection which represents TVs and set-top boxes currently in service; with new issues still being identified and resolved, of course all largely invisible to the consumer.
The message from speakers and delegates at our seminar was clear: As we near the end of the successful digital switchover programme, future spectrum use presents fresh technical and market opportunities, but also challenges, which will need to be matched by a balanced and professional approach if all involved are to benefit.
The need for careful planning when deploying major new, and potentially disruptive, technologies is clear.
Innovation remains vital and the industry recognises the economic and consumer benefits of 4G services. Because digital switchover was fully funded there is a danger of underestimating the challenges of playing around with UHF spectrum.
The UK has a reputation for innovation; and digital television is a great British success story. To ensure we maintain our global lead as new technologies are deployed we need:
Agile regulation: That keeps pace with technical advances
Proportionate regulation: That gives business space to innovate
And we need:
Regulatory certainty: so that all stakeholders understand the framework within which they operate and invest and consumers feel confident they are protected.
We recognise there is a tension between these requirements and do not underestimate the level of the technical challenges that our seminar highlighted. We look forward to ensuring the UK continues to take a leading role in the global development of emerging technology with the interests of the viewer at the heart of our thinking.
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Hannah Langston, Press and Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)207 840 6528.
The Digital TV Group (DTG) is the focal point of the UK's digital TV industry. The Group, a not-for-profit membership organisation, brings the industry together to enable the successful delivery and evolution of digital TV and associated technologies.
The DTG publishes and maintains the technical specification for the UK's Freeview and Freeview HD platforms and Connected TV (the D-Book) and runs the digital television industry's test centre: DTG Testing.
To encourage international harmonisation, the DTG is engaged with DECE (Ultraviolet), ETSI, HbbTV and the Open IPTV Forum. The DTG allows Digital Europe to use areas of its copyright under licence.
DTG Testing tests digital TV products applying for the Freeview, Freeview+ and Freeview HD logos against the D-Book standard.
DTG Testing also manages the Engineering Channel for continuous maintenance of the UK's Freeview and Freesat platforms, and maintains a receiver collection for testing new transmission modes and software downloads.
The DTG and DTG Testing supports the development and deployment of next generation technologies such as LTE (4G), TV white spaces, second screen and home networking.