Spectrum refarming, including digital dividend, is expected to free up to 300 MHz by 2016, according to the most recent report published by Maravedis-Rethink.
The research reveals that on average, each region will free up to 300 MHz of refarmed and digital dividend (DD) spectrum by 2016.
- Region 1 (EMEA) will add 72 MHz of spectrum from the DD, as well as up to 220 MHz of refarmed 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum.
- Region 2 (Americas) will add 164 MHz of spectrum from the DD and could refarm up to 190 MHz of the 2.6 GHz band.
- Region 3 (Asia) will also free 164 MHz spectrum from the DD, plus refarmed spectrum in the 1800 MHz band for up to 150 MHz.
On average, countries in all regions could have an additional 300 MHz of spectrum from the 700-800 MHz Digital Divide auction and the refarming process, utilizing current 2G and 3G spectrum for LTE.
Digital Dividend spectrum refers to spectrum which is released in the process of digital television transition. The digital dividend spectrum is usually between 174 to 230 MHz (VHF) and from 470 to 862 MHz (UHF). However, the location and size of digital dividend vary among countries.
The U.S. FCC hopes to open 120 MHz of TV spectrum for wireless broadband through an incentive auction in which participating broadcasters receive a share of the proceeds.
The FCC’s Report and Order establishes a framework for how two or more television licensees may voluntarily share a single six MHz channel in conjunction with the auction process.
The FCC is planning to auction unused television frequencies for licensed broadband wireless after “repacking” broadcasters into the VHF and lower UHF spectrum. Currently US television uses channel 2 (54 Mhz) through channel 51 (698 MHz).
The FCC hopes to vacate channel 31-51 and auction them for mobile broadband. The “incentive auction” of channels in the UHF television band is expected to raise some $25 billion. Auctioning 120 MHz between channels 31 and 51 should still leave 29 (“free”) DTV channels between Channel 2 and Channel 30.
The FCC hopes it will entice weak stations to double up (or even triple up) on channels, then turn over their unused spectrum to the FCC and participate in a voluntary “incentive” auctions.