The digital dividend arises from the switch from over-the-air (OTA) analogue to digital terrestrial TV (DTT).
Most of the bandwidth savings arise in the UHF band and in many cases substantially more than 100 MHz will be released. The most likely primary reallocation of this spectrum is for 4G broadband wireless services, but this requires a harmonized approach across economies in the region. How difficult will that be, and when might it take place?
Many countries have legacy problems but the minimum requirement for progress is action to avoid cross-border radio interference and domestic interference with TV broadcasts.
This is one area in which Asia is lagging behind the US and Europe where the switchover has already happened or is well under way. Different DTT standards are being adopted. The US uses ATSC, Europe DVB-T/DVB-T2, Japan ISBD. ASEAN is still looking at 2015~2020 for the ASO (analogue switch-off) and along with the ABU is advocating a common DVB-T2 standard and even an ASEAN STB; but different standards are being adopted in China, Laos, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea and Japan, and possibly the Philippines. How will this affect the development of commercial broadcasting and the future distribution of content in the region?
“White spaces’ are the unused or under-used frequencies mostly in the bands used by TV. TV Band Devices (TVBDs) can be used to check a database or use cognitive radio to identify others users and avoid interference on those channels. Applications range from M2M sensors for telemetry for smart cities to neighbourhood broadband WiFi. The Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) is preparing for commercial trials.
The digital dividend is potentially the most radical re-use of spectrum for a generation. ASO remains some years off, but commercial developments in white spaces may not take quite so long. The forum will seek answers to these and other issues in its familiar roundtable format. Chatham House rules apply.
Times, Venues and Locations
IIC Asia Forum in Kuala Lumpur – TBC
Please register at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, designation, company name, and number of guests.
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Briefing Paper on the Digital Dividend 2012-07-17_IICAsiaForum_DigitalDividend_BriefingPaper