The basics

Radio spectrum refers to a specific range of frequencies of electromagnetic energy that is used to communicate information. Applications important for society such as radio and television broadcasting, civil aviation, satellites, defence and emergency services depend on specific allocations of radio frequency. Recently the demand for spectrum has increased dramatically, driven by growing quantities of data transmitted over the internet and rapidly increasing numbers of wireless devices, including smartphones and tablets, Wi-Fi networks and everyday objects connected to the internet.

EPRS Factsheet

March 2015

Link to EPRS Factsheet


Infographic Courtesy of EBU

July 2014

Link to EBU Factsheet


contributions, STUDIES & REPORTS

References & Links

DigiTAG Presentation at Spectrum Management Conference

June 2015

Link to Presentation

WSG Press Release & Member contributions to European Consultation on Lamy Report

April 2015

Link to Press Release & Contributions


Why North and South of Region 1 should have a common "No Change" position at WRC 15 for UHF spectrum below the 700MHz band



Members of the Wider Spectrum Group responded to the European Commission's consultation on the Lamy report. The closure of the Consultation marked the formal launch of the Wider Spectrum Group. The contribution of members pointed to their shared vision for a wider debate on spectrum. A vision to strengthen growth and jobs in line with the European Commission's priorities within a holistic approach that places spectrum as a pillar and vital asset of an industrial strategy for Europe's creative and cultural sector.

Since the invention of broadcasting sufficient spectrum  has been provided to enable radio and television signals to reach viewers and listeners in their homes. And, until now, the concept of public service broadcasting or ‘PSB’ in Britain has ensured that a range of channels including BBC1 and 2, ITV1, Channels 4 and 5 have been available to all British homes, free at the point of use, on payment of the Licence Fee costing around £12.50 per month

VLV Factsheet

April 2015

Link to VLV Factsheet

In many countries, radio and TV share the towers used for broadcasting. As most commercially-funded radios across Europe are SMEs, migrating TV broadcasting from the current towers they are using may have an unsustainable cost for radio (see remarks under section 6.1 of the RSPG Draft Opinion). On the other hand, a potential reallocation of band 470-694MHz to other services than those currently using it, although not used by radio, could have indirect dire effects on radio: TV services may have to migrate to other frequencies and could end up using frequencies planned for radio, especially digital broadcast radio. 



AER Comments on the DRAFT RSPG Opinion on a Long-term Strategy on the Future Use of the UHF Band (470-790MHz) in the EU

April 2015

Link to full comments

Aetha Study

Future use of the 470–694MHz band

October 2014

Link to Full Study

Link to Executive Summary

Link to One page synthesis

The World Radiocommunication Conference in 2015 (WRC–15) will consider the award of co primary status to mobile in the 470–694MHz band in Region 1. A consortium of Abertis, Arqiva, BBC, BNE, EBU and TDF therefore requested Aetha to consider the economic benefits that would arise across the EU’s 28 Member States from mobile gaining access to the 470–694MHz band, compared to continued use for DTT and other existing uses. In our report we calculated the incremental costs and benefits if DTT transmissions were to cease and consumers migrated to alternative platforms (e.g. satellite) compared to continued use of the spectrum for DTT. We then considered the impacts on the DTT platform if a co-primary allocation were granted to mobile in this spectrum.

Lamy Report

Results of the work of the High Level Group on the future use of the UHF Band by Pascal Lamy

September 2014

Link to Full Report

Link to Press Conference


Pascal Lamy's report is based on 6 months of constructive dialogue on how to use the UHF spectrum band in the mid-to long-term future involving top executives from Europe's broadcasters, network operators, mobile companies and tech associations (see IP/14/14) This band represents prime real estate in terms of use, capacity and reach. To reconcile different views and realities in a single scheme which could enable Europe to fulfil Digital Agenda for Europe's broadband targets, while giving broadcasting a clear path to invest and develop further.

L’augmentation des besoins en spectre fait consensus. Elle a deux sources principales. D’une part, l’augmentation du trafic mobile qui devrait être multiplié par un facteur compris entre 13 et 25 entre 2011 et 2017 et, d’autre part, le développement de nouveaux services innovants comme l’Internet des objets avec ses applications multiples (villes intelligentes, e-santé...) qui pourraient se traduire par cinquante milliards d’objets connectés à l’horizon 2020.Le présent rapport appelle à un développement du partage, et en particulier du partage dynamique, pour plusieurs raisons. D’un point de vue économique, il permettrait un usage plus efficace des fréquences et un accès simplifié et moins coûteux à la ressource spectrale pour des entreprises innovantes. Il constitue ainsi un vecteur de croissance économique important. D’un point de vue technique, les technologies permettant sa mise en œuvre semblent porteuses de progrès à moyen ou long terme et constituent des éléments essentiels de la 5G. Enfin, d’un point de vue juridique, le cadre réglementaire français s’adapte aisément à son développement.

Secrétariat d'Etat au numérique Study

Une gestion dynamique du spectre pour l'innovation et la croissance

July 2014

Link to Full Study 

e-media institute Study

The role of digital terrestrial television (DTT) in the Italian communications sector and the whole national economy

March 2014

Link to Full Study


Digital UK Study

The value of Digital Terrestrial Television in an era of increasing demand for spectrum

January 2014

Link to Full Study 









BNE Policy Paper

March 2102

Setting the record straight on the WRC-12 and Terrestrial Broadcasting in the context of the European Radio Spectrum Policy Program

Link to BNE Policy Paper



The Impact of DTT within Europe 

July 2011 

Link to Full Report

The present report has been prepared for the Mediaset Group and focuses on the role and socio-economic value of free-to-air terrestrial television in the Italian market. It was drafted with a view to contributing to the current debate on the eventual allocation of the 700MHz band of the radio-electric spectrum to fourth generation mobile and wireless data services (LTE). Free-to-air TV (public service and commercial, generalist and thematic, national and local) plays a vital role in nurturing the productive capacity of the editorial system and the quality of the content that is consumed on all platforms, in linear and non-linear mode. In fact, its role is also fundamental in terms of the content that is consumed via the Internet.


The report demonstrates that:

DTT plays a critical role in the overall UK broadcasting and content ecology.

The economic benefits of DTT are considerable and higher than previously estimated.

DTT delivers more value than mobile broadband, when the amount of spectrum used by the respective services is taken into account.

A strong DTT platform is critical to healthy competition in the TV market, and to the realisation of a wide range of social benefits.

Digital UK and our members - the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva - hope that this study will help policy makers charged with decisions on spectrum, particularly when weighing the costs and benefits associated with major changes. Digital switchover and the public’s support for Freeview are a British broadcasting success story. We must ensure that decisions taken on future use of spectrum avoid a detrimental impact on consumer choice, platform competition, content investment and the wider creative industry and its ability to drive jobs and growth.


BNE has worked closely with European policy makers over the last two years to inject a view from the broadcast sector into the debate on the importance of radio spectrum for broadcast purposes. The final text of the RSPP establishes, among other things, the need for an inventory of radio spectrum use, an assessment of forthcoming technologies and the future spectrum demand by different services. The text of the RSPP does not constrain future policy decisions with regard to terrestrial broadcast services but rather aims to optimize the use of radio spectrum in Europe beyond 2015.




The introduction of DTT (DTT) and the switchover from analogue to DTT (DSO) has led to more efficient use of the 470-862 MHz band. Furthermore part of the band – the digital dividend 800MHz band – has become available for the provision of new services other than broadcasting, as a result of the significant investments in new equipment made by consumers, broadcasters and broadcast network operators. Against this background, Deloitte LLP was commissioned by Broadcast Networks Europe (BNE) and DigiTAG to evaluate the following:

-        A preliminary assessment of the key drivers of DTT’s consumer and social impact

-        An initial consideration of the trends in DTT’s economic contribution in Europe

-        A short review, comparing DTT to mobile networks as a means for delivering linear broadcast television to viewers.     

The terrestrial broadcasting platform is a unique way of delivering content to European audiences. A delivery platform offering universal access, it is technically and cost efficient, with wide support across the industry as well as from the general public. Spectrum is crucial for vibrant and innovative terrestrial broadcasting. Terrestrial television is transmitted on the UHF frequency band (470–862 MHz). The UHF band is the only band for widespread development of digital terrestrial television services.

EBU Factsheet 

EU spectrum policy

January 2011 

Link to EBU Factsheet




TERA Report

The economic contribution of the creative industries to EU GDP and employment Evolution 2008-2011

October 2014

Link to Executive Summaries & Full Report

TERA Consultants study on the economic contribution of the creative industries to the EU that captures the evolution of creative industries between 2008 and 2011 in terms of employment and GDP. This study confirms the importance of the creative sector for Europe, representing 6.8 % of European GDP (approximately €860 billion) and 6.5% of European employment (approximately 14 million).

EY Study

Creating Growth - Measuring Cultural and Creative Markets in the EU

December 2014

Link to Full Study

Creative and cultural industries are undeniably part of the solution to the economic crisis that has had the European continent in its grip for years according to the new EY study Creating Growth - Measuring Cultural and Creative Markets in the EU. This analysis, commissioned by European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC), and backed by 18 corporate partners and supportive organizations, reveals the determining input of CCIs in the European economy.

Ce livre blanc vise à expliquer en quoi cette perte spectrale importante pose des problèmes aux professionnels de la production d’événements culturels et audiovisuels et suggère des solutions. Elle a été rédigée de manière concertée par plusieurs organisations professionnelles regroupant à la fois des constructeurs et des utilisateurs de PMSE.

French cultural organisations White Paper

Réallocation de la bande 700 MHz: conséquences sur les productions culturelles et d'information

October 2014

Link to Full Study


Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union

September 2013

Link to Full Report

A joint project between the European Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. The OHIM-EPO study is the first to quantify the overall contribution made by IPRintensive industries to the EU economy, in terms of output, employment, wages and trade, taking into account the major IP rights (patents, trade marks, designs, copyrights, geographical indications). Despite the conservative approach, reflected in the rigorous methodology applied, the main results are very impressive: IPR-intensive industries generate more than a quarter of employment and more than a third of economic activity in the EU.