18/02/2007

Band III Information Update



Band III is makes up what used to be the VHF TV channels and some of the band is now used by Private Mobile Radio.

The Band was covered by the Stockholm ’61 Agreement which designated this band for TV broadcast across the EU.

The band is actually split into 3 sub-bands, the lower two being used for PMR in the UK and the 3rd being made available for use by T-DAB. The PMR use was always designated secondary use, though some bilateral agreements were made with neighbouring countries to extend its lifetime.

In May/June 2006 the Regional Radiocommunications Conference (RRC-06) which is made up of around 120 ITU member states in Europe, Middle East and Africa, had an objective to harmonise the Band III (and Band IV) use. Though the UK had an interest to maintain their interestes, they could not go against the wishes of the rest of the conference.

Sub-band 1 will be available for PMR use for a while (though the lowe parts will be needed by 2009 for T-DAB use), sub-band 2 will be used for T-DAB significantly after 2012.

Ofcom is actively moving sub-band 2 and affected sub-band 1 users and giving them priority on new available spectrum in sub-band 1, new users may be delayed allocations.

Where possible new bilateral agreements will be made with neighbouring countries to protect users of the spectrum, the main affected areas being the south and south east which are prone to continental interference. There may also be interference from Ireland.
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