Spectrum - or radio spectrum - is the range of electromagnetic radio frequencies used to transmit data wirelessly. It is composed of the different ranges of radio frequencies which are divided up and allotted to carry all forms of wireless data signals, ranging from radio, TV, Wi-Fi, mobile telephones and Internet to wireless microphones, satellite communications and many more.

Spectrum has become a scarcer resource as a result of the increased use of wireless technologies, in particular mobile data traffic. Broadcasters have undertaken major investments which freed up a significant portion of spectrum for mobile data, whilst increasing choice and quality for TV viewers. However, further diversion of spectrum resources away from broadcasting risks compromising the future of digital TV, and undermining universal access to public service media.

Ensure sufficient spectrum for digital terrestrial television

Public service media make their channels available on all TV platforms - digital terrestrial television (DTT), satellite, cable and internet TV networks. DTT nevertheless remains the most effective means of ensuring that every citizen has access to free-to-air TV. DTT requires spectrum in the UHF band because of its technical properties.

Sustain a vibrant European audiovisual landscape

The availability of DTT offers a basic and cost-efficient guarantee that public interest programmes and services will reach viewers. This, in turn, brings wider economic, social and cultural benefits. For example:

  • DTT ensures cultural diversity through its wide dissemination of European audiovisual works.
  • It carries the latest innovative digital TV services and state-of-the-art image definition standards (8K).
  • DTT makes impartial and high quality news available for all.
  • It encourages innovation and competition on consumer prices on other TV reception networks which require a subscription (cable, satellite, IPTV).  

An evidence based approach to future spectrum allocation

UHF band frequencies are in great demand to cater for the projected growth of mobile internet usage in the future. This growth is undeniable, but it is also unfortunately, often considerably exaggerated. It is important to bear the following in mind when making policy decisions awarding certain UHF band frequencies for mobile internet services:

  • Inefficient use: mobile data operators already have a large amount of spectrum their disposal - some of which is not fully used and operate 2G, 3G, and 4G networks that are not efficient in terms of spectrum use.
  • Other solutions: increased demand for mobile can also be met on several other frequency ranges (L‑band, 2.3 GHz, 2.6 GHz) which are not relied on by DTT.



Spectrum policy to help combat climate change - EBU contributes to public consultation

Read the EBU's response to the Radio Spectrum Policy Group’s (RSPG) consultation on its draft Opinion on “the role of spectrum policy to help combat climate change”

13 APRIL 2021

EBU contributes to consultations around the EU's future Radio Spectrum Policy Programme

The EBU has given input to the Radio Spectrum Policy Group's opinion on the EU's future Radio Spectrum Policy Programme

31 JULY 2020

EBU response to BEREC’s consultation on the “5G Radar” and the “Guide to the BEREC 5G Radar”

The EBU's input to the public consultation on the draft ‘Guide to the BEREC 5G Radar’ and ‘5G Radar’

20 JULY 2018

EBU Response to draft RSPG Opinion WRC19

The EBU's response  to the draft RSPG Opinion on the 2019 ITU-R World Radiocommunication Conference.

19 JULY 2018

Wider SpectrumGroup - response to draft RSPG Opinion on the 2019 ITU-R World Radiocommunication Conference

The Wider Spectrum Group's response to the draft RSPG Opinion on the 2019 ITU-R World Radiocommunication Conference. The Wider Spectrum Group (WSG) brings together European and national organisations that...

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