Not enough time has been devoted in the Czech Republic to debating the freeing up of the 700MHz band and related transition to DVB-T2 broadcasting, according to Pavel Dvorak of the Federal Statistic Office, Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In his view, it compares unfavourably with the long discussions ahead of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. What is more, only the latter was needed in the TV market, and the transition to DVB-T2 is governed by specific European legislation.
Dvorak said that the Czech Republic now has a technical plan in place for the transition to DVB-T2. It envisages the switch-off of DVB-T services to start with the public broadcaster’s services in Prague and Central Bohemia in November 2019, with the first switch-offs of commercial stations’ services starting between January-April 2020.
The 700MHz band frequencies will be released on June 30, 2020, with auctions taking place for them on that date or earlier, and DVB-T will end on February 1, 2021.
‘Parallel’ broadcasting using both standards will run for a period of two years.
Dvorak said that the introduction of DVB-T2 will open up further possibilities. There will be more efficient use of spectrum, and regional, Ultra HD and HbbTV opportunities will increase. Furthermore, the TV set market will be stimulated.
Dvorak also said that he expected integration of all platforms via IP and that the future of terrestrial broadcasting will depend on what happens between 2023-30.