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Dutch DTT stays with Digitenne as country moves to DVB-T2

Dutch telecom company KPN has retained the right to operate digital terrestrial TV in The Netherlands after being awarded a new licence running from 2017 to 2030.

KPN was left as the only company bidding for the new licence after another, unnamed company withdrew from the process, allowing an instant licence award.

KPN operates digital terrestrial TV in The Netherlands under the Digitenne brand, and consists of a small number of free-to-air channels alongside a bouquet of pay TV channels. In a statement issued by the company, it confirmed that it will now move toward operating a DVB-T2 based service, which will facilitate HD TV, alongside its other web-based TV and interactive TV services. The changes mean Digitenne's customer base will need new devices to receive the new service once migration to DVB-T2 starts.

Announcing the award of the new licence, which comes into force from 1st February 2017, the Dutch Telecom Agency (Agentschap Telecom) confirmed that the move to DVB-T2 is required because a further portion of the broadcast band (700MHz) will be available for mobile communications from 2020.

All European countries - inside and outside the EU - are vacating the 700MHz frequency band from terrestrial TV services at the beginning of the next decade.

Unlike the UK, terrestrial TV in the Netherlands has a lower market share due to cable TV dominating TV distribution.