ECC TG6 meeting - Copenhagen

ECC TG6 (long term vision UHF) was created at the 34th ECC meeting in June 2013. Its main mission is to produce studies to develop a long term vision for UHF broadcasting (focusing on the 470-694 MHz band) in Europe, specifically taking into account the following aspects which are deemed fundamental:

  • identification of possible scenarios for the band's long term development, based on the current situation and acknowledging ongoing studies in the 700 MHz band in Europe and short/medium term developments, for example, regarding item 1.2 of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC 15) agenda and the response to the European Commission (EC) mandate;
  • flexibility of CEPT administrations to individually consider the band’s future usage;
  • guarantee of fair access by CEPT administrations which aim to operate broadcasting services;
  • perception of the existence of a stable future investment environment for services planned for the band, including programme making and special events (PMSE).

The group should accordingly produce a draft ECC report.

The fourth meeting of the ECC TG6 group was held on 2-4 April 2014 in Copenhagen, attended by 60 participants, including 17 administrations, the European Communications Office (ECO) and various organisations and companies. The group is chaired by ANACOM.

At its 36th meeting in March 2014 the ECC assigned a new task to TG6 regarding broadcasting plans in accordance with Geneva 2006 (GE06) in 700 MHz, bearing in mind the need for cross-border coordination of that band. It was decided that the ECO would coordinate the matter with a view to preparing a document to submit to the fifth TG6 meeting in May 2014. TG6 should in turn report on this subject to the ECC in November 2014.

Work on the draft ECC report continued at this meeting. Based on the contributions received, several sections referring to the proposed ECC report were revised, as described below.

Regarding chapter 3 (background), note that because not all CEPT countries have completed the analogue switch-off (ASO), the section meant to contain the statistical description of current digital terrestrial TV (DTT) distribution in the various CEPT countries for TV services delivery will also indicate TV distribution via analogue platform. Several new sections with new topics were added, specifically on "benefits of terrestrial broadcasting", "available distribution platforms for public service broadcasting", "the role of terrestrial broadcasting in providing information in times of emergencies" and "the duration of the TV RoU currently assigned". Regarding programme making and special events (PMSE) equipment, reference was made to ECC Report 204 on "Spectrum Use and Future Requirements for PMSE" to indicate its use in spectrum terms.

Chapter 4 of the proposed ECC report, on which work began at the last meeting, was thoroughly revised except for the final part which will contain the summary. The title was changed to "Evolution of Services, Technology and Networks" to better reflect the new structure.

In chapter 5, "Indicators for the Monitoring of Expected Developments", a new indicator on "devices used for television/AV viewing" was introduced. The aim is to describe changing habits of consumers when viewing television content.

Regarding chapter 6 on long term vision issues, most of the submitted contributions concerned new definitions for terms used in the ongoing TG6 studies on generic classification/categorisation of scenarios, scenarios and their assessment, and cross-border coordination issues. Based on the discussions, the main changes affected the categorisation of scenarios (there are currently four categories); the description of the 13 scenarios and respective evaluation for the 470-694 MHz UHF band were inserted into an appendix. A table was also introduced which analyses co-existence between the various categories (which must still be discussed by the group in detail).

The next ECC TG6 meeting is scheduled for 13-15 May 2014.