PROMAX equipment ready for the digital dividend

September 20, 2013.

In 2007, the World Radiocommunication Conference agreed to assign the band between 790 and 862 MHz to use it in communication services by mobile broadband in the European area. Since then, this frequency band it is known as “digital dividend”.

Information about digital dividend

Currently, some television operators are using this band, so they have to move their channels to other multiplexes. When the digital dividend will be free of television operators, it will be used by mobile operators to transmit the 4G mobile broadband.

LTE frequencies transfer

It is estimated that buildings that have to adapt their installations will be those of 3 or more apartments, which is a high percentage of homes in Spain. Changes have to be done in reception cabinets, particularly in the head-ends of signal adaptation. Two types of installations are the most common: in the case of a system with mono-channel amplifiers, a new amplifier for each new channel should be added; in the case of a system with a programmable control unit, it should be reprogrammed to tune the new channels. But adaption works cannot start until new frequencies will be established by the Spanish government.

The RANGERNeo + field strength meter is the tool that complements the work of the installer to make adjustments because of the digital dividend. This field strength meter has a tool especially designed for the digital dividend, called "LTE Ingress Test", which detects interferences in DTT caused by the mobile broadband (4G/LTE) that is expected to occur when the digital dividend starts working. With this tool, the installer can determine whether to install filters to prevent such interferences.

RANGER Neo +: Field strength meter with LTE filters

This equipment, as well as working for digital terrestrial (DVB-T/T2), can be used for other standards, such as satellite (DVB-S/S2) and cable (DVB-C), and both analogue and digital signal and FM. It also has the option to extend it in order to measure fibre optic installations. So the installer, with one single equipment, can work in almost any type of telecommunications installation.

There are other field strength meters that only work for digital terrestrial signal and therefore, are lighter and more compact, as the TVHUNTER+, which detects DVB-T/T2 terrestrial broadcasts. This meter also helps the installer really well in field work to make the necessary adjustments in buildings.

The deadline set by the Spanish government is nine months since the final frequency assignment. Broadcast centres have this time to be adapted and start simulcast broadcasting. The simulcast period is necessary to allow users to adapt their TV reception installations to receive and tune the new digital channels.

For more information, read the post "What is Digital Dividend? Present and Future" at the PROMAX blog.