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.
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Revised. First published at 17:15