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Competition in broadcasting services or
competition between broadcasting and
A case study of the Netherlands
This provides us with a remarkable competition conclusion:
as wireless broadband speeds start to match wired television we will
digital terrestrial television cable broadband
have a second infrastructure capable of competing with the traditional
catv incumbent … This would mean more competition, permit lighter
regulation and would spur the fixed network operators to move to next
generation access so as to differentiate themselves from the threat of the
Peter Anker, Gent,Dublin, 1 October 2008
Vivianne Reading, 17 October 2008
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Potential use of the digital dividend
The situation on the relevant markets in the Netherlands
The potential use of the digital dividend in the Netherlands
What to do?
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Potential use of the digital dividend
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Television distribution in the Netherlands
Cable Satellite Terrestrial IPTV (ADSL)
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Market share of Digital Terrestrial Television
Analogue switch off
Market share DTT
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Q2 Q4 Q2
2007 2007 2008
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Terrestrial TV in the Netherlands
Digital Terrestrial TV
- Switch-off in december 2006
23 TV and 19 radio programmes
- Comparable to analogue cable TV package
5 multiplexes in use
- 1 multiplex public services (3 national and a regional channel)
- 3 multiplexes commercial service
- 1 multiplex mobile TV (DVB-H)
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Mobile communications (2)
3 mobile operators
Nearly national mobile internet coverage
- Only small portion of 2 GHz spectrum is used
- Possibility for flexible use of GSM bands in the near future
- All three mobile players have GSM900 spectrum
All 3 mobile operators offer mobile TV
- KPN on DVB-H
- Vodafone and T-Mobile on their mobile network
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80% of the Dutch households has an Internet connection
92% of the internet connections is broadband
- 61% ADSL
- 38% cable TV network
ADSL coverage of PSTN is nearly 99%
Cable TV coverage of 95%
Source: TNO, Q2 2007
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Wrap-up of the Dutch situation
High penetration of cable TV (95%)
DTT is in direct competition with cable TV
Huge share of digital dividend already allocated to DTT
Lower level of demand for wireless broadband services in rural areas
- More urban nature of demographic make-up of the Netherlands
- ADSL coverage of PSTN is nearly 99%
- Cable TV used for broadband access
Nearly full coverage of mobile internet
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DTT – Outcome of the RCC
Layer 1 Layer 2 Layer 3 Layer 4
24-29-30-33-34-65 25-27-28-31-35-44-60 32-33-35-36-37-40- 23-24-31-41-45-48-53-
Layer 5 Layer 6
21-43-46-47-51-56-56- 21-22-26-30-32-39-42-50-52- 61-62-68-69
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Digital Dividend – What is available?
7 layers available
5 layers in use by the DTT operator
2 layers available
- 1 layer of good quality
- 1 layer with a reduced quality
- Available in 2012
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Digital Dividend – Where to use it for?
- Enhancing competition between cable TV and DTT
- More possibilites for more programmes, mobile TV (DVB-H) or HDTV
- Enhancing the coverage in rural areas
No need to use the digital dividend for internet connectivity in rural areas
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Scenario 1 – Digital broadcasting
The additional frequencies freed from 2012 are allocated to DVB
services, either using DVB-T (DTT standard) or DVB-H (mobile TV).
This scenario does not require any rearrangement of the band.
DTT is a strong competitor to cable operators in the TV market.
Strengthening the existing operator or introduction of a new competing
operator for mobile television.
Mobile services are rolled out using other, higher frequency bands (e.g.
GSM900, GSM1800, UMTS or 2.6GHz spectrum).
Will the competition between cable TV and DTT remain viable if the
cable TV is digitized?
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Scenario 2 – Mobile communications
The subband 790-862 MHz is allocated to mobile communications to
provide larger cell radius in rural areas and better in-house coverage
DTT is still a competitor to cable operators in the TV market, but not as
strong as in Scenario 1.
Three assignments of 2×10MHz each possible, assuming a 12MHz guard
band is required between the downlink and the uplink.
This scenario requires the frequencies used at some DTT transmitter sites
to be changed (retuned).
Additionally, probability of interference to DTT at the band edge;
additional DTT fill in transmitters might be needed.
Is there enough capacity available for a truly broadband service
and a larger cell radius?
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How about PMSE?
Currently provisions to use the whole band on non-interference basis
- 1 channel (63) free for wireless microphones
Highly localized use
Fragmented market with many small players and users
⇒Long time needed to effectuate a change
Need for more sophisticated equipment
- Larger tuning range
- Dynamic frequency selection
Especially a problem in the 790-862 MHz if this is used for mobile communications
- Can the duplex gap be used?
- Is there enough capacity in this gap?
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How about technology neutrality?
Scenario 1 uses the existing layers hence is optimized for broadcasting
Scenario 2 frees the upper subband and makes it available for mobile
Questions around both scenario’s
Need for a possibility in which the market chooses the optimal scenario
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Large part of the digital dividend already used for competition in
Remaining part can be used for
- Mobile communications
Flexible award process with 2 simultaneous competing auctions which
leads to either 2 broadcasting layers or 3 mobile licenses of 2x10MHz
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