Discussion Papers

Sonia Strube

Der digitale Rundfunk - Stand der Einführung und regulatorische Problemfelder bei der Rundfunkübertragung
Nr. 214 / Januar 2001


Digital broadcasting services have been launched in several European countries and in many other countries the conditions to launch digital broadcasting services have been planned. While the digitisation of the cable and satellite networks is a market driven process, the roll-out of Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV) requires the involvement of the governments to enable the simulcast of analogue and digital programs. The simulcast is the favourite solution for a soft transition from analogue to digital broadcasting.

Due to the advantages linked to the digitisation of the terrestrial broadcasting the roll-out of DTTV is supported even by the governments of countries which have a low percentage of households receiving exclusively through a terrestrial aerial. Those countries hope to intensify the competition between the different networks.

WIK has carried out a study about the digitisation of broadcasting services in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany. It also analyses the consequences of the digitisation for competition between terrestrial, cable and satellite transmission networks as well as for regulation of digital broadcasting in Germany.

The comparison between the five countries takes into account the following factors:

  • legal framework and licensing procedures
  • designing of multiplexes and the number of programmes
  • launch of digital and closure of analogue broadcasting services
  • access to digital services

All countries have already launched digital radio services. In the study information about the number of programmes and the coverage with digital radio services is presented.

The consequences of digitisation for the competition between terrestrial, cable and satellite transmission networks are viewed from the perspective

  • of the broadcasters who chose between different broadcasting transmission platforms and
  • of the consumers who chose between different reception modes.

In the final chapter regulatory issues in broadcasting transmission services and in access to digital services are considered before the regulatory framework in Germany is described.

Only German language version available.

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