EU economy to gain if TV spectrum is reallocated to mobile broadband


The European economy could see a boost of up to €95 billion over 20 years if some airwave spectrum was dedicated to mobile broadband.

According to a study by Spectrum Value partners, if only a quarter of the UHF frequency band was given over to the industry, the European economy would see a huge benefit in the growth of mobile broadband use throughout the continent.

It is predicted that for such a scenario to work, the industry will need between 40 MHz and 140 MHz, although the UK’s switchover will only release 112 MHz. The study warned that delaying the release of the UHF spectrum by three years could cost €20 billion.

The study commissioned by Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone predicts that the highly valued spectrum space would drive down the cost of mobile broadband and could see between €63 to €165 billion to the European economy, although benefits to each individual country vary.

Here in the UK, digital switchover, where terrestrial channels will switch from the UHF to digital broadcasting, has already begun and will be completed in 2012. Regulator Ofcom has announced there will be an auction of the space and has already rejected calls to reserve space for HDTV broadcasting content.

In its own digital dividend report the regulatory body has highlighted that mobile phone services are expected to gain from the auction.