UK Digital Terrestrial Television: International Coordination Agreements
1. All UHF (Band IV / Band V) television broadcast allocations have international spectrum rights co-ordinated through a framework of international bilateral agreements. Under these agreements, the administrations of neighbouring countries define incoming levels of field strength that can be accepted towards transmitters that share the same frequency. This is often achieved by agreeing signal levels towards test points on the country's coastline, national border, or to transmission service areas.
2. The UK's current digital television frequency plan has evolved from the original Geneva 2006 Plan (GE06) Plan, which was agreed at the ITU Regional Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva during 2006 (RRC-06). International co-ordination of spectrum rights was achieved via bilateral negotiations to form the basis of the overall networks, and agreed through the RRC-06 processes
3. Following decisions at EU level to harmonise band plans for mobile services in the 800 MHz spectrum (and the UK's decision in 2008 to align with these arrangements), the original GE06 frequency plan required further international co-ordination in order to clear the use of Channels 61 and 62 (in addition to the clearance of Channels 63 to 68 already possible originally from RRC-06) for the 800 MHz DTT clearance programme.
4. Existing alongside the broadcasting assignments and allotments listed in the GE06 plan are associated detailed bilateral co-ordination agreements. These agreements set out in detail the parameters of permitted cross-border interference negotiated between the two countries in question. These detailed agreements underpin the UK's TV assignments negotiated with its four immediate neighbours: Belgium, France, Ireland and the Netherlands. Each assignment in the UK plan is agreed with specific technical parameters. These include the site location and height, antenna height and maximum power as well as any agreed restrictions relating to a reduction in transmitted power in certain directions (azimuth) towards the assignments or allotments using the same channel in other countries
5. These technical details are recorded with each assignment for each country where co-ordination is applicable (e.g. mainly with Ireland for sites in western parts of the UK, and mainly with France, Belgium and the Netherlands in the case of sites in southern and eastern parts of the UK).
6. The format of the recorded technical agreement can vary depending upon whether the neighbouring country's frequency plan is primarily allotment-based (i.e. whether it makes extensive use of Single Frequency networks) or assignment based (for example, the multi-frequency networks used in the UK). In the case of allotment-based countries typically a maximum received interfering field strength to the allotment boundary, coastline or country border is recorded. In the case of an assignment-based network plan a maximum transmitter power and antenna template with azimuth and restrictions may be recorded. In some cases there is a mixture of both approaches.
Current Status of Bilateral Agreements
7. The UK has negotiated bilateral co-ordination agreements for the technical parameters of all DTT transmitter stations in the UK 800 MHz DTT Clearance Plan.
8. The UK concluded the co-ordination process for the 800MHz DTT clearance and has signed official bilateral agreement documents with Belgium, France and Ireland to formally record the co-ordinated spectrum rights.
9. International co-ordination technical parameters and the UK frequency plan have been bilaterally agreed with the Netherlands. Ofcom is currently in the process of obtaining a formal signed agreement.
10. The UK's 800MHz DTT Clearance frequency assignment plans will in due course be submitted to the ITU for entry into the GE06 plan, ensuring that each allocation is granted international recognition and protection.
Current International Co-ordination Documents
Please note that the documents below summarise the UK's internationally agreed rights and obligations. However they do not fully reflect all of the characteristics deployed in practice by the broadcasters in the UK's DTT transmitter network (although specific transmitters must operate at or below the levels specified in any relevant international agreements). Details of in-use frequency assignments for the full UK DTT networks are available.
- This agreement and annex detail the re-plan and modification of the Geneva 2006 Plan (GE06) to facilitate the mutual clearance of the terrestrial broadcasting services from the 790MHz - 862MHz band ("800MHz band") between the UK and France.
12. Band IV/V bilateral co-ordination agreement between the administrations of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- This Agreement details the re-plan and modification of the Geneva 2006 Plan (GE06) to facilitate the mutual clearance of the terrestrial broadcasting services from the 790MHz - 862MHz band ("800MHz band") between the UK and Ireland.
13. Band IV/V bilateral co-ordination agreement between the administrations of Belgium and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- This agreement details the modification of the Geneva 2006 Plan (GE06) required to facilitate the mutual clearance of the terrestrial broadcasting services from the 790MHz - 862MHz band (800MHz band) between the UK and Belgium.
14. Pending bilateral co-ordination agreement additional to RRC-06 bilateral agreement between the administrations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- The administrations of the UK and the Netherlands have agreed the 800MHz DTT Clearance technical co-ordination details as detailed in the co-ordination spreadsheet at a bilateral meeting, however the 800MHz DTT Clearance co-ordination agreement is still pending final agreement and signature as of May 2013.
15. UK Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Band IV/V 800MHz DTT Clearance International Co-ordination Technical Parameters and Nominal Antenna Restriction Templates
- Technical parameters and nominal antenna restriction templates derived from the international co-ordination technical agreements for the 800MHz DTT Clearance with Belgium, France, Ireland and the Netherlands provided in two sections:-
- Section 1 lists those assignments with an international co-ordination antenna restriction in the template
- Section 2 lists assignments without an international co-ordination antenna restriction and therefore the restriction template is omni-directional.
- A spreadsheet summary of UK assignment technical details and nominal co-ordination template names