Arqiva applies for new multiplex licence

Digital multiplex operator Arqiva has - as expected - submitted an "intention to apply" form to Ofcom as part of a recent consultation which aims to pave the way for extra Freeview HD channels. The "intention to apply" process is expected to lead to an award of a licence to run services in the 600 MHz frequency band.

By awarding a licence for multiplexes that can be used for Freeview HD, Ofcom would like to drive uptake of equipment that is compatible of receiving Freeview HD to make it easier to clear more frequencies in the future for mobile phone use. Already, the upper section of the frequency band is being cleared for new 4G services later this year.

No specific information on the "intention to apply" has been made public yet. However, infomation from late last year in the public domain confirms that Arqiva would operate two additional multiplexes carrying extra HD channels. Responding to the same consultation document, the BBC confirmed its intention to launch one or two new HD channels using the extra capacity, with Channel 4 doing the same.

If Arqiva is the only organisation to have submitted an intention to apply for the licence, it will be awarded the licence shortly by Ofcom, with first services expected on air within the next twelve months.

  • Meanwhile, in addition to pursuing more HD in the UK, Arqiva today announced the launch of a new platform which would enable it to offer HD to digital TV platform providers in Poland, Greece and Italy.

  See Also:
Consultation on the future use of the 600 MHz frequency band: Consultation responses round-up >

Comux requests extra frequency to boost Sheffield Local TV coverage >

Revised. First published at 17:15
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  1. Hope Sky Don't Take The Slots For Pay Channels

    1. At the moment, only Arqiva *appears* to have applied for the licence. We await more information from Ofcom shortly.

    2. There wouldn't really be any point in Sky taking the slots. Maybe if they weren't temporary with limited coverage. Also, it wouldn't really be encouraging migration to DVB-T2 equipment if the temporary multiplexes were restricted to pay channels.


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