Arqiva indicate that it would be possible to have 6 multiplexes after 700 MHz clearance.
- in some scenarios coverage may be reduced.
- while it is in theory possible, there may well be issues co-ordinating the UHF band in SE England. 700 MHz clearance would remove the majority of frequencies allocated to the UK in use from Dover. Frequencies would need to be borrowed or traded with France.
Given the hassle created by the need for new aerials for many more households and more filters, it will start to turn viewers off. Add to that low quality videostreams compared to improving web quality over the next decade you do wonder whether the multiplex operators are trying to make the most money while they can.
Yes, that is based on the existing spectrum rights option. It is based on maintaining existing coverage for 3 PSB multiplexes with various options for accommodating the 3 COM multiplexes in the remaining reduced spectrum.
It indicates that it will be possible to have 6 layers rather than the 8 layers allocated in current spectrum. It has to be remembered that the channels allocated to the 7th and 8th layers were in limited spectrum. For example, Bilsdale and Waltham sites use different UHF channels for the existing muxes. They share UHF channels for the 7th and 8th channel allocations, clearly these would have to operate at reduced power and coverage would be limited. Keeping 6 muxes isn't an ideal scenario.
There's also a clean sheet option for a totally re-planned network making more efficient use of DVB-T2. That's where the 3 into 2 COM mux solution lies. It would allow more UHF channels to be allocated to the 2 COM muxes, giving better coverage and still allow for additional SFN or limited coverage multiplexes.
The Arqiva allocations don't take the local tv multiplexes into account, so they would either need to be revised or the local multiplexes would be lost.
Also, as the public get used to the temporary extra multiplexes due to be introduced next year. They may not be too happy to lose these services or the local services when 700 MHz clearance takes place.
As you say the Arqiva plans are dependent on International co-ordination. There is no guarantee that neighbouring countries will agree to the UK's requirements.
A logistical nightmare.