Ofcom plans for data surge: Major changes for Freeview ahead

Under the headline "Ofcom unveils plans to avoid mobile capacity crunch", the regulator of the UK's airwaves announced its plans on Friday for the frequencies currently used by Freeview.

It proposes to remove Freeview digital terrestrial television services from further frequencies from 2018 at the earliest to provide capacity for increased demand for data on the move, possibly for a future "5G" service. However, the move will mean that Freeview will have to go through yet another clearance retune schedule, and filters being installed in the next year to block 4G interference would need to be changed again! This clearance is also known as the 700 MHz clearance.

a516digital.com has extensive coverage
Objection! Multiplex operators slam Ofcom's proposals
Multiplex operators have slammed Ofcom's proposals, stating that they are not convinced of the case to clear frequencies given the forthcoming release of other frequencies that could be used for data. They are adamant that Freeview viewers shouldn't pay the bill for needed changes >

BBC and Channel 4 propose more HD channels on Freeview
The BBC, Channel 4 and Arqiva have submitted a proposal to Ofcom that would allow them to launch up to two extra HD multiplexes using frequencies that would otherwise be dormant until 2018. >

Local TV set to lose allocated frequencies in clearance project
Local TV channels would lose frequencies earmarked for their use within just a few years after they started broadcasting under the Ofcom proposals >

Technical analysis: The Shrinking TV Band
How use of the UHF band has changed, and will change further, as mobile services encroach. >

Ofcom plans to use more TV frequencies to feed nation's appetite for data
 Reporting Friday's Ofcom announcement. >


You and Your reception ...
Frequency Clearances: What does it mean for your Freeview reception?
 A quick roundup of the main points for technically conscious consumers >


From the archive ...
700 MHz clearance to have "more significant impact on viewers" than digital switchover (29th March 2012)
Arqiva's report from March on how Ofcom's proposals may reduce a mobile capacity crunch but cause a shortage of suitable frequencies for TV. >

OFCOM launches consultation on the future of the UHF TV frequency band (29th March 2012)
 Background on the consultation that led to Friday's Ofcom announcement and the reasons why it's being done. >

Analysis: Ofcom postpones 600 MHz digital TV auction as more frequencies are poised to be given over to mobile broadband (5th March 2012)Ofcom ditches original proposals whereby up to three extra digital TV multiplexes could launch in the 600 MHz spectrum vacated at switchover, because these frequencies would be needed if the 700 MHz band is sold off. >
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