• The process of releasing the second dividend will end before June 30, 2020, in compliance with the European Union calendar.
  • The current capabilities of the digital terrestrial television service (DTT) will be guaranteed.
  • A cost compensation scheme for adapting user reception facilities and updating transmission equipment for radio broadcasters is envisaged.

The Ministry of Economy and Business has published the roadmap for the authorization process for the 700 MHz frequency band for the provision of wireless broadband electronic communications services. This has been prepared taking into account the contributions received in the public consultation on the process, held between November 28, 2017 and February 19, 2018, in which nearly one hundred contributions were received from interested parties.

The published roadmap plans to complete the process of releasing the 700 MHz band before June 30, 2020, in accordance with the schedule established in Community regulations. The release of the 700 MHz band, known as the second digital dividend, is a European-wide process, which aims to ensure a coordinated approach to the use of this band in the European Union, which will be key to the provision of 5G services and the extension of its coverage, particularly in rural areas, ensuring access and connectivity.

Among the most relevant milestones of the calendar contained in the roadmap are the approval of various regulatory instruments before the end of 2018. Among others, the approval of a new National Technical Plan for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) will be approved in the that it is planned to maintain the current capabilities of this service. The Plan will be designed with the aim of maintaining the number of national and regional multiples and, consequently, the current offer of television channels and the capabilities of territorial disconnection. Likewise, guarantees of availability, at least until 2030, of the 470-694 MHz frequency band for the provision of said services will be included in the Plan.

According to the roadmap, the objective is established to approve before the end of the year the compensation regime for the adaptation of the reception facilities of the buildings to the new frequencies and to compensate for the necessary changes in the transmission equipment of radio broadcasters, compatible with the applicable Community system.

The effective process of migration of DTT services from frequencies using the 700 MHz band to the new planned frequencies, is expected to take place between January 2019 and March 2020.

The publication of the roadmap for the release of the second digital dividend continues the measures contemplated in the National 5G Plan (2018-2020). The objective of the 5G National Plan is to place our country among the most advanced in the development of this new technology, so that when 5G reaches its technological and commercial maturity, Spain is prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities of this technological paradigm. As part of the execution of this Plan, the tender for the 700 MHz band will be developed in the future for its effective use in 5G services, and it is estimated that the licenses will be awarded before June 30, 2020.

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