Friday, July 10, 2009

Digital switchover spectrum worth €200 billion - Reding

It looks like Viviane Reding is alive and kicking at the European Commission after being nominated for another five year term and issuing her customary rallying call to governments and the telecom industry to move faster down the path of liberalisation.

Less than a month after the UK government released it's Digital Britain report restating it's ambition to complete the digital switchover from analogue TV by 2012, Reding has urged European government's to bring forward plans and not wait until 2012. What's more, Reding reckons the EU-wide switchover would increase the value of spectrum by between €150 billion and €200 billion.

That's a hefty sum, although just how much operators are able and/or willing to pay for spectrum right now is a different matter. Indeed, the tone coming out of the Digital Britain report was far more about maximising coverage rather than maximising the monies generated by any spectrum auctions... which when you consider the still poor 3G coverage in the UK, is probably a sensible move.

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