Government wants to anticipate digital TV for 2015

Stephanie Kohn

The communications minister, Paulo Bernardo, said on Wednesday, the 21st, that he will discuss the question of Digital TV in Brazil with President Dilma Roussef at his next agenda meeting.

According to Bernardo, the idea is to change the TV digitalization schedule for 2015 and, if possible, 2014. “This needs to be approved by the president, but we want to anticipate the shutdown in some locations and delay in others”, he commented.

The minister believes that a review of the Digital TV calendar is necessary, as the shutdown schedule for June 2016 may be problematic. “Making this change at once can only prove to be a problem, because there are places that are lagging behind and others that could already make the change,” he said.

If the schedule is changed, Bernardo believes that the government may begin to discuss the bidding for the 700 MHz band – currently used by analogue TV and that it will be destined to the 4G / LTE network – in the second half of 2013.

Analog TV X 4G

In Brazil, analogue TV works at 700 MHz, a frequency that in countries like the United States is used by 4G. Here, the fourth generation will initially be in the range between 2,500 MHz (or 2.5 GHz) and 2,690 MHz, but this may not be good in terms of quality of service.

“The higher the frequency, the greater the losses of propagation, the waves have more difficulty to penetrate buildings or travel further,” explains Eduardo Tude, president of consultancy Teleco. “If the frequency is higher, the cells are smaller, so the lower frequency has less loss of spread.”

This is one of the reasons why operators wanted to operate the 4G at 700 MHz, but the band will only be released when the open channels will once and for all migrate to the digital signal, turning off the analogue TV. So it could be that the 4G run on two different tracks in the future.

“While it is not free, other bands are used, including the 2.5 GHz one. There is no way to switch the TV signal to the telephony signal, because there are millions of TVs with receivers, will you turn them all off? There is no alternative, you have to wait for digital TV to spread “, comments Tude.

Our country is not alone in this range, as Russia, Austria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Switzerland have also adopted this standard. In addition, most of the cell phones made in China – one of the big markets today – use the same data transmission techniques as Brazil.

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