Russia completes digital broadcasting transition

15 Oct 2019

Russia has completed its switchover of national TV channels to digital terrestrial television (DTT), with the last-phase switch-off of federal analogue TV channels in 21 regions occurring on 14 October, completing a schedule begun in December 2018, reports Broadband TV News. DTT services cover 98.4% of the population. Note that Russian regional analogue TV broadcasters have been permitted to continue operating.

TeleGeography says that Russia’s national DTT broadcasting network, owned by Russian Television & Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), completed its network-wide upgrade from DVB-T to DVB-T2 in 2012-2015, and the all-DVB-T2 network reached its 98.4% federal footprint in 2018 (while the remaining 1.6% of the population can receive the current 20 ‘must-carry’ national channels via satellite TV). DVB-T2 enables DTT transmission to occupy frequencies within the 470MHz-694MHz band, theoretically freeing up the 700MHz (694MHz-790MHz) band for mobile broadband services including 5G. However, around 20% of frequency assignments for digital TV channel packages (multiplexes) will reportedly remain in the 694MHz-790MHz range, and Russia’s communications ministry is yet to confirm plans for 5G 700MHz licensing. Contrastingly, in the 800MHz band (791MHz-862MHz) Russian mobile operators were issued federal 4G licences back in 2012.