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.


31 Jul 2020
EBU responses 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 Jul 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 Jul 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...
06 Jan 2018
EBU response to RSPG consultation on 5G (Second Opinion on 5G networks).
The EBU's response to the consultation on the RSPG's Second Opinion on 5G networks. The consultation is part of the overall  RSPG discussion of the appropriate spectrum framework for the future use of...
29 Sep 2017
EBU response to RSPG consultation on PMSE
The RSPG issued a draft opinion on a long-term strategy for future spectrum needs and use of wireless audio and video PMSE applications. This is the EBU's response to the public consultation on the opinion.
Position paper
26 Jul 2016
EBU response to the RSPG consultation on spectrum related aspects for next-generation wireless systems (5G)
The EBU's response to the public consultation on the draft RSPG opinion on spectrum related aspects for next-generation wireless systems (5G).
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