Germany tests internet on broadcast spectrum

The German city of Wittstock has commenced a field test in which for the first time in Europe terrestrial broadcasting spectrum will be used for wireless broadband internet access.

“This pilot project is an excellent opportunity to study benefits of the deployment of frequencies from the digital dividend, i.e. from the UHF band below 862 MHz, for coverage of rural regions and for gathering initial experiences. These frequencies are ideally suited to closing in an initial step the gaps in Germany’s broadband availability,” said Günther Ottendorfer, head of technology at T-Mobile. The mobile broadcast subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom is conducting the test together with Berlin’s media authority Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg and national telecommunications regulatory authority Bundesnetzagentur.

The test will use frequencies vacated through the transition from analogue to digital terrestrial TV distribution which are not used for the distribution of television channels via DTT. In this way, households in regions with no or only insufficient broadband coverage via ADSL or cable networks can have access to a fast internet connection.

The one-year pilot project, in which up to 100 participants will take part, is intended to clarify the framework of the technical and economic conditions necessary for regular operation, including the achievable technical reach, the bandwidth in the broadcasting cell and possible interferences with DTT.

(Source: © Rapid TV News 2008 )