Nº 2 2015 > Special Report on the Digital Switchover
Digital switchover around the world
Moving from analogue to digital terrestrial television frees up scarce spectrum for other uses, especially mobile. All regions are keen to achieve digital switchover, and some countries have already managed to complete the process. The deadline of June 2015 set for the UHF band by the ITU Regional Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva in 2006 (RRC‑06) for the migration from analogue terrestrial television to digital terrestrial television applies to Africa, the Middle East and Europe, as well as to the Islamic Republic of Iran. In Asia-Pacific and in the Americas, national Administrations have worked together on a bilateral and multilateral basis to develop spectrum plans for digital terrestrial television.
In North America, much of Europe and some parts of Asia, analogue switch-off has now been completed. Most countries in Latin America and Asia-Pacific have plans to complete the transition between 2015 and 2020.
The RRC‑06 plan is based on frequency coordination for systems using the terrestrial digital video broadcasting (DVB‑T) standard, although other systems can be used. Around the world, several standards have been developed for digital terrestrial television. The principal ones are the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standard developed in North America, Integrated Services Broadcasting — Terrestrial (ISDB‑T), developed in Japan and then adapted for use in Brazil and a number of other Latin American countries, and DVB‑T (and its successor, DVB‑T2). China also has its own standard called Digital Terrestrial Multimedia Broadcast (DTMB).
This series of articles in this issue of ITU News shows how different countries with different market conditions are facing — or have already dealt with — the challenges involved in the digital switchover.
ITU symposium at headquarters
ITU will mark the 17 June digital switchover deadline by holding a Symposium at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to highlight the inherent advantages offered by digital terrestrial broadcasting.