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IRIS 2009-9:17/26

Romania

Digital Strategy

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Mariana Stoican

Journalist, Bucharest

The Romanian Government recently adopted a strategy for the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial television and the introduction of digital multimedia services at national level.

Under the strategy, in accordance with Community law provisions, the introduction of digital terrestrial TV at national level and the withdrawal of analogue TV services using UHF frequency bands should be achievable by 1 January 2012. The transition to digital technology should lead to modernisation and harmonisation with other EU Member States. New regulations will also be gradually introduced in order to provide more effective control of the radio spectrum in accordance with the ITU recommendations contained in the final acts of the 2006 Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC).

The optimal use of the frequency spectrum using technologies that make DVB-T, DVB-T2 and DVB-H standards as well as the MPEG2 and MPEG4 methods possible, should open up new development opportunities. Regarding the proposed switch-off of analogue signals, all public and private broadcasters of national TV channels, as well as local TV providers, will be obliged to adapt their transmission equipment to the new format. In parallel, new reception devices will need to be produced and sold.

The Government has authorised the Ministerul Comunicaţiilor şi Societăţii Informaţionale (Ministry for Communication and Information Society - MCSI) to issue licences by the end of 2009, with the aim of ensuring that 80% of the country can receive digital terrestrial television.

According to the Government’s decision, 7,025,000 households (of a total of 7.5 million) currently receive TV channels primarily via cable and satellite. In Romania, 260 TV and 662 radio broadcasters are currently operating, which represents the second largest market for local broadcasters in central and eastern Europe. The strategy mentions the idea of State support to help poorer members of the population in disadvantaged regions to afford the equipment needed to receive digital television.

In terms of implementing the strategy, the decision allocates individual tasks to the MCSI, the Ministerul Culturii, Cultelor şi Patrimoniului Naţional (Ministry of Culture), the Autoritatea Naţională pentru Administrare şi Reglementare în Comunicaţii (National Regulatory Authority for Communication - ANCOM) and the Consiliul Naţional al Audiovizualului (National Council for Electronic Media - CNA).

References
Hotărâre pentru aprobarea Strategiei privind tranziţia de la televiziunea analogică terestră la cea digitală terestră şi implementarea serviciilor multimedia digitale la nivel naţional RO
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=11860
 
  Government decision EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=11860
  FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=11860
  DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=11860