Отчет мсэ-r bt. 2140-1 (05/2009)



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3.3 Impact of the digital terrestrial broadcasting Plan of RRC-06 and GE 06 Agreement


RRC-06 and GE 06 Agreement guarantee to the Bulgarian Administration to have at its disposal and use at its discretion 10 nation-wide networks for terrestrial digital TV broadcasting, supplemented by 34 regional networks and by 23 networks dedicated to the regions of Sofia and Varna.

3.4 Transition to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting


The said transition will be executed into two phases as follows:

3.4.1 First phase-start of the transition

3.4.1.1 Three nation-wide digital terrestrial TV networks


Three nation wide MFN/SFN networks, all DVB-T, will be licensed to operators for deployment in allotment zones of Burgas, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Varna and Vidin by June 2008.

Licensed operators shall start “Island Coverage” broadcast within said allotment zones as from January 2009 and they must achieve at least 75% population coverage within said allotment zones by December 2012.

Exactly one year later, after the simulcast expiry, new licenses will be granted to operators with obligation to start “Island Coverage” broadcast within allotment zones of Blagoevgrad, Kurdzhali, Pleven, Smolyan and Shumen and they must achieve at least 75% population coverage by December 2011.

Furthermore, relevant licensees must ensure full population coverage inclusively for the above-mentioned twelve allotment zones by December 2012.


3.4.1.2 Twelve regional digital terrestrial TV networks


Twelve regional SFN networks will be licensed to operators within allotment zones of Burgas, Plovdiv, Sofia and Varna (three SFN networks each) by June 2008. Licensees shall start “Island Coverage” broadcast within said allotment zones by January 2009 followed by ensuring of full population coverage for the said four allotment zones by January 2010.

3.4.2 Second phase of the transition

3.4.2.1 Additional three nation-wide digital terrestrial TV networks


Furthermore, three nation-wide MFN/SFN networks, two of them DVB-T plus one DVB-H, will be licensed to operators for deployment in the allotment zones of Burgas, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Varna and Vidin by July 2010.

Licensed operators shall start “Island Coverage” broadcast within said allotment zones as from January 2011 and they must ensure at least 75% population coverage of said allotment zones by December 2013.

Exactly one year later, after the simulcast expiry, new licenses will be granted to operators by July 2011 with obligations to start “Island Coverage” broadcast within the allotment zones of Blagoevgrad, Kurdzhali, Pleven, Smolyan by January 2012, being followed by obligations to ensure at least 75% population coverage by July 2014.

Furthermore, relevant licensees must ensure full population coverage inclusively for the above-mentioned twelve allotment zones by July 2015.


3.4.2.2 Additional fifteen regional digital terrestrial TV networks


Fifteen regional SFN networks will be licensed to operators for deployment in the allotment zones of Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Kardzhali, Pleven, Plovdiv, Ruse, Smolyan, Sofia, Sofia-City, Stara Zagora, Strandzha, Shumen, Varna, Varna-City and Vidin by July 2010.

These licensees will be obliged to start “Island Coverage” broadcast within said allotment zones as from January 2011 and they will be required to ensure 90-95% of population coverage in the above-mentioned allotment areas by December 2012.


3.4.3 Allotment zones


Figure 38 defines the distribution of allotment zones on the map of Bulgaria as per RRC-06.

3.4.4 HDTV


Subject to license application/s for digital terrestrial HDTV broadcasting network/s being submitted latest by December 2011 to competent regulatory authorities, or upon initiative of competent regulatory authority, license/s may be granted to relevant operator/s for deployment and operation of digital High Definition TV terrestrial broadcasting network/s.

3.4.5 One Year Simulcast Limitation


The period of parallel broadcasting of both analogue and digital terrestrial TV broadcasting (simulcast) is limited to one year after the start up of digital terrestrial broadcasting within relevant “Island”. Upon expiry of this one-year period all analogue terrestrial TV broadcasting transmitters within the “Island” territory coverage will be switched-off as a principle, however exceptions may be granted spectrum permitting, in particular for remote rural areas.

Appropriate measures will be taken to ensure adequate spectrum allocation/s in order to guarantee the practical implementation of this key requirement.


3.4.6 “Must carry” obligation


The Electronic Communications Law, May 2007, Article 47(2).1 stipulates that any digital terrestrial broadcasting network, be it radio or television, must carry two Bulgarian programmes. It is within the purview of the Electronic Media Council (EMC), empowered by this Law, to decide on the programme allocation within any network. Furthermore, it is the EMC who decides on the network to broadcast the programme/s of Bulgarian National Television, but within the said limitation of two Bulgarian programmes per network.

Taking into account the existing spectrum constraints, the Second Phase of the Transition Plan (see § 2.4.2) may be implemented only on condition that relevant spectrum indeed be liberated by the already licensed operators for analogue terrestrial digital TV broadcasting with nation-wide coverage networks. In this regard and in order to ensure that the above-mentioned requirement of the Electronic Communications Law will be met, either the said licensed operators must have new licenses granted for nation-wide network coverage of digital terrestrial TV broadcasting during the First Phase of Transition (see § 4.1), or alternatively, in consistency with the decision of the EMC on the network assigned to carry the programme/s of Bulgarian National Television (BNT) a “must carry” obligation be imposed on relevant operator/s, being licensed as First Three Nation-wide digital terrestrial TV Broadcaster during the First Phase of Transition to carry obligatorily the programme/s of Bulgarian National Television.

figure 38

Allotment zones for the Republic of Bulgaria defined by RRC-06



Blagoevgrad

Vidin

Pleven

Ruse

Shumen

Varna

Varna City

Burgas

Strandzha

Stara Zagora

Plovdiv

Sofia

Sofia-City

Smolyan

Kardzhali

3.4.7 Analogue switch-off


Switch-off of any analogue TV terrestrial broadcasting transmission in the country will be imposed by December 2012 at the latest.

3.4.8 Digital dividend


The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting will create new distribution networks and expand the potential for wireless innovation and services. The digital dividend accruing from efficiencies in spectrum usage will allow more channels to be carried with variety of fast data transmission rates and lead to greater convergence of services.
The inherent consistency of data flows over long distances and flexibility offered by digital terrestrial broadcasting will support mobile reception of video, internet and multimedia data, making applications, services and information accessible and usable anywhere and at any time. Along with the introduction of innovations such as Handheld TV Broadcast (DVB-H) and HighDefinition Television (HDTV), it will provide greater bandwidth which, in full consistency with “European Parliament resolution Towards a European policy on the radio spectrum” {2006/2212(INI)}, could increase the widespread availability of affordable mobile/wireless broadband, including in rural areas.

Services ancillary to broadcasting (wireless microphones, talk back links), planned on a national basis, could also be extended.

Because of the complex and interleaving reasons, associated inter alia with the said purpose and mission of the introduction of digital TV terrestrial broadcasting in this country, it will be very difficult in the mid-term future to quantify the spectrum which will be available for use of services other than broadcasting. Therefore it is foreseen that the factual quantitative balance of the spectrum liberated will be done not earlier than the complete analogue switch-off at the end of 2012 and not later than end 2015, in full conformity with the decisions taken at the WRC-07.



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