Digital frequency plan

Switzerland is to acquire 14 full national coverages for the expansion of digital broadcasting – seven for digital television (DVB-T) and seven for digital radio (T-DAB). This is the result of the international ITU Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva which came to a close on 16 June 2006.

The Swiss negotiators at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have obtained a significant increase in the number of national coverages for television. In Geneva, more than 1000 delegates from 104 states in Europe, Africa and the Middle East drew up a new frequency plan for digital terrestrial broadcasting. This plan will enable the introduction of digital broadcasting in these states.
In the new frequency plan (Geneva 2006 Agreement), signed on 16 June at the end of the ITU's Regional Radiocommunication Conference, 14 full national coverages were allocated to Switzerland: 7 for digital terrestrial television and 7 for digital terrestrial radio. Switzerland has thus been able to significantly increase the number of programs which can potentially be transmitted. In effect, one digital television coverage makes it possible to transmit at least 4 television programs to the same quality standard as current analogue programs. Before this revision of the frequency plan, Switzerland had only 4 full national coverage for analogue television.

Federal Council to decide on use

The new frequency plan constitutes the framework for the orderly broadcasting of digital radio and television programming. The way in which the digital frequency positions will be occupied, what programmes will be broadcast on them and from when will be decided by the Federal Council in the coming years, on the basis of the legal provisions.

Analogue and digital in parallel

During a transitional period, when analogue and digital broadcasting systems will have to co-exist, the new agreement gives analogue broadcasting a privileged status compared to digital broadcasting. Thus Switzerland will have to conduct negotiations with neighbouring countries which occupy with their analogue transmitters digital frequencies allotted to Switzerland in the new plan.
Frequency utilisation must be coordinated at international level in order to prevent interference in the reception of audiovisual or radio transmissions originating from neighbouring states. This coordination is regulated in plans which detail the rights and obligations of states regarding the utilisation of the frequencies which are allotted to them.

Replacement of the 1961 frequency plan

The international frequency plan which was in force for spectrum utilisation in the 174-230 MHz and 470-862 MHz bands dated from 1961 and had been concluded in Stockholm (Stockholm 1961 Agreement). This plan was designed for analogue television. At the end of the `nineties, it was clear that the Stockholm plan did not allow for the efficient introduction of digital terrestrial broadcasting. Consequently, the necessity of drawing up a new plan replacing the one in force became apparent.

Specialist staff
Last modification 12.10.2023

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