On June 16, 2006, at the Regional Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (I.T.U. – International Telecommunication Union) held in Geneva, an agreement was signed regarding the digitization of the television signal in the countries of ITU Region 1, that is Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Iran.
As stated in the International Telecommunication Union’s announcement, the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting represents a landmark towards establishing a more equitable, fair and anthropocentric society.
The authorities responsible at that time for implementing this digitization, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in cooperation with the Ministry of State, secured the frequencies to be used by Greece via the GE ’06 frequency plan of I.T.U.
21 initial Transmitter Sites were designated and assigned provisional frequencies for broadcasting digital signal, since the GE ’06 allocated frequencies were occupied at the time and could not be outright allocated by the regulating authority (Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission – Ε.Ε.Τ.Τ. in Greek) for digital television broadcasts.
Unlike other countries, where analogue and digital signals were broadcasted side by side during the whole switch-over period, in Greece it was deemed necessary to switch-off the analogue signal before switching-on the digital signal in most transmitter sites.
The Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Frequency Plan (1) also defined:
- The digital terrestrial signal frequencies to be used at each transmitter site
- The 156 mandatory Transmitter Sites that had to be activated
- The switch-over regions as well as the order and timeframe of their activation
- A minimum set of technical specifications for the Transmitter Sites, such as their coordinates, maximum transmission power etc.(2)
Then, with the country divided into 34 allocation areas (allotments), the required Transmitter Sites were brought into service in order to create functional Single Frequency Networks (SFN) in each region.
In each SFN, the Transmitter Sites operate synchronized and broadcast the television program on the same frequencies, creating the “economy” of spectrum that is a key advantage of digital terrestrial broadcasting.
Having completed the transition to the digital era and following closely the latest technological developments, digital television now provides an enjoyable watching experience of the commercial television channels, with video and audio of the highest quality.
Recently, as required by law, part of the television spectrum had to be released to be allocated for the development of 5G mobile communications, resulting in the 2nd Digital Transition(3).
The 2nd Digital Transition begins!
The frequency band of 700 MHz, which was used by digital terrestrial television, is now required to be cleared and allocated for the development of the 5G mobile network by telecom providers, in accordance with the applicable legislation (3).
This led to the new, modified Frequency Plan (3) that is in effect today, which defines the new internationally allocated TV frequencies for Greece, as well as the order of their activation in each region of our country.
Starting from November 6, 2020, viewers in each part of the country switch in turn to the 2nd Digital Era just by retuning their TV sets.
Having divided the country into 32 allotments, islands of the North-Eastern Aegean, Lesvos, Lemnos, Chios and Psara constitute the first transition region!
Today, we are proud to have successfully completed the 2nd Digital Transition to the new, internationally allocated broadcasting frequencies across the country, in less than a year.
(1) JMD 42800/5-10-2012, G.G. 2704/Β’/5-10-2012
(2) JMD 21161/12-8-2008, G.G. 1680/Β’/20-8-2008, JMD 42800/05-10- 2012, G.G. 2704/Β’/5-10-2012, latest modification JMD OIK. 62941/1831/Φ111Α/29-10-2014, G.G. 2931/Β’/30-10-2014, article 14 of Law 3592/18-7-2007, G.G. 161/Α’/19-7-2007
(3) JMD 716-003/30-04-2014, Resolution 2017/899 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017, JMD 18/2020, Β’ 1752, 7/5/2020, Decision EETT 951/01/2020, G.G. Β’ 3725, 7/9/2020, JMD 22176 G.G. B’ 3011, 8/7/2021, JMD 36/2021, 30/09/2021, Decision EETT 1019/01 G.G. Β΄148, 20/01/2022
Ministry of Digital Governance
Hellenic Telecommunication and Post Commission (E.E.T.T.)