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IRIS 2019-2:1/23

Romania

Support for the expansion of DTT broadcasting network in Romania

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Eugen Cojocariu

Radio Romania International

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 9.78 million to Romanian state-owned telecom services provider Societatea Naţională de Radiocomunicaţii SA (Radiocom) to partially finance the digitalisation of the country’s terrestrial broadcasting infrastructure (see IRIS 2009-9/26, IRIS 2010-3/34, IRIS 2010-7/32, IRIS 2010-9/35, IRIS 2011-4/33, IRIS 2013-5/38, IRIS 2013-6/30, IRIS 2014-4/26, IRIS 2014-5/29, IRIS 2014-9/27, IRIS 2015-5/33, IRIS 2016-2/26, and IRIS 2017-1/29).

This transaction is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as “Juncker Plan”. The project facilitates the switchover from analogue to digital TV distribution in the country through 228 broadcasting sites. A digital terrestrial television broadcasting network will be rolled out throughout Romania to provide 94% population coverage and 81% territorial coverage. The project supports the roll-out of a digital TV broadcasting network based on the DVB-T2 standard, to enable the switchover from analogue to digital terrestrial television distribution. The investments will also contribute to a more efficient use of the highly valuable radio spectrum.

EIB’s Vice-President Andrew McDowell commented: “The EIB loan will finance the digitalisation of public terrestrial broadcasting in line with national and European policies, supporting the transition of TV to digital broadcasting. This will facilitate the development of the information society to benefit the people of Romania.” On the other hand, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Romanian Corina Crețu, said that “[w]ith this new agreement, the Juncker Plan is making a very visible difference to the everyday lives of Romanians by bringing better quality TV into their homes. I am very proud of this new EFSI project and I can only encourage Romania to make more use of the great opportunities offered by the Juncker Plan for growth and jobs in the country but also to improve people’s quality of life.”

The CEO of Radiocom, Eugen Brad, also stated that “the EIB financing will enable the implementation of digital terrestrial television in Romania, a unique opportunity to expand the audiovisual industry, viewed from the perspective of the image quality of television programmes provided through electronic communications networks, and their interactivity in relation to the requirements of the beneficiaries of these services. Radiocom’s transition project is one of the strategic objectives of our company that will ensure respect for the right to information of the Romanian population and will also strengthen our company’s position in the digital terrestrial television market.”

Romania started the transition to the digital terrestrial broadcasting system of television programs on 17 June 2015. Radiocom announced that the testing phase of the digital television implementation started in the biggest cities, in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi and Timisoara. On 10 June 2015, the Romanian Government approved an Emergency Ordinance to ensure the transition from analogue terrestrial to digital terrestrial television, and the implementation of multimedia services at national level.

References
BEI acordă Radiocom un împrumut de 9,78 milioane de euro pentru dezvoltarea infrastructurii pentru televiziunea digitală - comunicat de presă 14.12.2018 RO
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19364
 
  EIB grants Radiocom a loan of EUR 9.78 million for the development of digital television infrastructure - press release of 14 December 2018