Broadcasters bet on the bottom line
Jan 23, 2014 by PolicyTracker

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TagsBlog, Broadcasting, Mobile

TV delivers more bang per bit than mobile according to….well, that would spoil the surprise….

The UK broadcasting industry has published research that it hopes will bolster its position ahead of the report to be published in July by the European Commission’s new high level group. The report will give Brussels advice on what should be done with the UHF band.

The study, from Digital UK, suggests the marginal value of MHz allocated to digital terrestrial TV (DTT) is, on average, 50 per cent higher than the average value of mobile data per MHz. It goes on to say that the marginal value of data per MHz is £0.19 (€0.23) per MHz, whereas the same MHz would be worth £0.47 (€0.57) if used for DTT.

The research, carried out by telecoms consultancy Communications Chambers, also claims DTT provides £80 billion to the UK economy and supports 15,000 jobs.

Spectrum policy makers are familiar with being told that allocating spectrum for a particular use magically generates a huge amount of value for their economies. However, it seems rare for the broadcasting industry to be making the claim.

Broadcasters have spoken of the economic importance of the industry before but as far as I am aware, they have not calculated the value per MHz of their spectrum. They have tended to emphasise the social and cultural benefits of broadcasting, rather than relying on the crude forces of Mammon.

Perhaps this is unsurprising, given that many other studies of the economic value of spectrum (like this one) conclude that further spectrum should be allocated to IMT.

Will Digital UK’s work carry any weight with Pascal Lamy and his high level group? We hope for an answer in July.•