WBU Press Release on WRC-15 Outcome

Dec 16, 2015 | News, News Releases

World Broadcasting Unions’ Reaffirms Joint Support to DTT after WRC-15

December 11, 2015 / Toronto, Canada – The outcome of the last ITU World Radio communication

Conference (WRC-15) has been welcomed by regional broadcasting unions worldwide. The decision for

a global No Change in the 470-694/698MHz band (with a few exceptions in Regions 2 and 3)1 ensures a

harmonized use of the band for terrestrial broadcasting and creates favourable conditions for the

continuous development of digital terrestrial television (DTT).

In Europe broadcasters now have the required certainty to invest in releasing the 700MHz band and

repacking the lower UHF band in order to accommodate the existing TV services. Furthermore, this will

facilitate the transition to new technologies like DVB-T2 and the introduction of a wider range of High

Definition programs and innovative services (like interactive HbbTV services).

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle-East and Asia broadcasters will now be able to

invest in the rollout of DTT and completing the digital switchover, taking advantage of the latest


“Common action concerted between all broadcasting unions at WRC was aimed to preserve the

fundamental interests and universal values of the public and national broadcasters based on what make

the distinctiveness of the public service: accessibility, inclusion, respect and tolerance” said Tewfik

Khelladi, President of the AUB at the opening of that union’s General Assembly. Mr. Khelladi furthered

that “what we have achieved together at WRC will allow us to protect broadcasting services until at least

2023, making it finally possible to deploy the DTT services all around Africa within these coming years.”

In North America, with the decision to maintain the globally harmonized primary allocation to

broadcasting only, broadcasters can return their focus to the unprecedented incentive auction

proceeding, currently scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016. At this point in time, no one knows if the

incentive auction will fail or succeed in repurposing spectrum for mobile services. Either way, the result

will be driven by economics, not by speculation. With the successful outcome of WRC-15, broadcasters

now have confidence to continue to invest in their future by developing, implementing, and transitioning

to advanced DTT technologies.

Broadcasters’ cooperation and coordination before and during WRC-15 was essential for securing

continued access to the UHF spectrum for DTT. They have successfully demonstrated the universal

importance of terrestrial broadcasting and supported the national administrations throughout the WRC-

15 negotiations.

With the regulatory certainty in the use of the UHF spectrum resulting from this WRC-15, the continuing

cooperation will enable broadcasters from all over the world to share their knowledge and best practices

to establish and further develop DTT as an essential broadcasting platform for the foreseeable future.

*WRC-15 statements from some WBU member unions:

• Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union’s (ABU) WRC-15 Press Release

• Arab States Broadcasting Union’s (ASBU) WRC-15 Press Release

• European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) WRC-15 Press Release

• International Association of Broadcasting’s (IAB’s) WRC-15 Press Release

• North American Broadcasters Association’s (NABA) WRC-15 Press Release