CASBAA Hails ITU C-band Call

The Asia Pacific pay-TV industry has greeted an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) decision on the preservation of C-band spectrum for satellite TV services in Asia as “a long-awaited positive outcome on a contentious issue”.

According to the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), the November 16th decision taken in Geneva, Switzerland by the United Nations-led ITU World Radio Conference (WRC) recognized the central role that broadcasting — and in particular pay-TV services — plays within the Asian communications market.

While acknowledging the new development of terrestrial Wimax broadband services as important, the WRC meeting concluded that the uninterrupted use of C-band in Asia was essential to preserve quality broadcast communications. The WRC also gave Asia Pacific satellite system operators assurances that any future IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) networks will be fully protected from interference.

“The interference-free operation of C-band satellite services is essential for mainstream satellite TV and cable TV platforms, mobile communications, Internet delivery and disaster recovery communications,” said Simon Twiston Davies, the CEO of CASBAA, which represents 128 Asia Pacific satellite and cable TV providers across Asia.

Long-term and detailed trials have shown that the operation of wireless systems such as Wimax within the range of 3.4 – 4.2 GHz C-band spectrum have repeatedly “wiped out” the ability of satellites to function across the entire band and caused the widespread disruption of transmission signals.

The landmark decision by 191 UN member states at the WRC will now allow for further development of new markets and services for satellite services.

“This much welcomed international endorsement provides our industry the assurance of a secure future for much anticipated market growth and services developments in the years to come,” said Twiston Davies. “This positive outcome demonstrates the serious recognition of the importance of C-band for the broadcasting industry and satellite operators,” he added.

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