Jan Dworak, Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council (fot. S.Maksymowicz/KRRiT)

The future of the media market in Poland – the 700 MHz band and digital radio

The conference entitled “The Future of the Media Market in Poland” organised by the National Broadcasting Council and the Poznań International Fair took place from 9-10 April under the sponsorship of WorldDMB as well as DigiTag, organisations for radio and television market participants from around the world. Technology sponsorship for the fair was provided by the Polish Chamber of Digital Radiodiffusion. Here we publish presentations and statements accompanying the conference.
Opening the conference, the Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council Jan Dworak drew attention to the changes which have been made along with the digitisation of television. – Over half of all Poles have changed their television receivers; viewers may today watch several dozen new programmes on diverse topics for the price of a television license, which has created an alternative to paid platforms. This technological change has necessitated a greater pluralism of content and has increased the competitiveness of broadcasters, and new economic possibilities have opened up – he emphasized.

The first day of the conference was dedicated to the further development of digital terrestrial television.

The keynote address was delivered by Juliusz Braun, President of Telewizja Polska. The special guest of that day at the conference was Grzegorz Napieralski, Member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm). Taking part in the day’s four panels were representatives from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation, the Office for Electronic Communications, the National Institute of Telecommunications, the organisation DigiTag for terrestrial television market participants in Europe, the technical network operator Emitel, the Union of Importers and Producers of Electric and Electronic Equipment, creative unions, as well as representatives of Telewizja Polska.

The topics discussed included the future of the 700 MHz band in Poland, the digital dividend in the context of further development of digital terrestrial television, and the testing of new technologies and digital terrestrial television services. One of the panels was devoted to copyright law. The example of streaming as a new way of using cultural resources on the Internet was discussed, and the panellists also considered both the opportunities for and threats to the industry in light of copyright law.
The second day of the conference took place under the slogan “Digital radio -- more than radio”.

- The National Broadcasting Council, as an organisation representing audience interests, cannot ignore the fact that digital terrestrial radio broadcasting provides an opportunity for more effective management of the frequency spectrum, permits better quality of sound, a wider programming offer – and in the future – additional media services. No responsible power (whether national government, local government, or public) can opt out of the signal broadcast from terrestrial transmitters, which is easily available to listeners, including while traveling, and which provides an opportunity for universal, simultaneous, unconditional and free access to digital radio programmes and services. In addition, it is cheaper to use, uses less energy, and is more ecological. Terrestrial broadcasting also permits warning functions in the case of a disaster or unfortunate accident. It would be difficult to justify depriving listeners of such opportunities– wrote Witold Graboś, Deputy Chairman of KRRiT, in the opening address for the second day of the proceedings.

Business models of DAB+ technology and key conditions for success were presented by Patrick Hannon, Chair and President of WorldDMB, an international organisation working for the adoption and implementation of digital broadcast radio around the world, and of which the National Broadcasting Council has been a member since December 2013. Jane Ostler of Digital Radio UK discussed the process of implementing digital radio in Great Britain, including the benefits of, barriers to, and risks arising from the process. The Dab+ implementation strategy used by Polskie Radiowas presented by Henryk Cichecki, a member of the company’s management, Krzysztof Łuszczewski, Director of the Polskie Radio Centre for the Development of Digital Radio, and Paweł Mathia, chief engineer.

One of the panels was devoted to the role of commercial radio broadcasters in the implementation of digital broadcasting. The viewpoint of commercial broadcasters on the future of radio in Poland was presented by Andrzej Matuszyński, President of Eurozet Group. Broadcasters’ concerns arise above all from the lack of a final switch-off date for analogue broadcasting. The economic costs associated with simultaneous broadcasting of a programme in both the analogue and digital systems, called simulcasting, are also a serious barrier. Another problem is the narrow product range and high price of radio receivers available on the Polish market. Commercial broadcasters also drew attention to the huge popularity of internet radio, which is successfully using and developing digital space.

Representatives from Germany, Holland and Norway spoke on the development of digital radio in their respective countries. They discussed the strategies of their countries and their involvement, including financially, in implementation, the economic aspects of the process as well as the costs of informational campaigns, among other topics. Gunar Garfors, representing Norwegian public broadcasters and IDAG (International DAB Advancement Group), raised the issue of competition between digital and internet radio. On the economic benefits of DAB+ digital distribution spoke Jens Stockmannof the company GatesAir, and Mirosław Ostrowski of Polskie Radio Wrocław discussed additional possibilities offered by this technology.

 -The Poznań conference has traditionally been an occasion for substantial discussion of the future of media. I believe that, with this knowledge, together we will build solutions beneficial to audiences and society. stated Jan Dworak, closing the two-day proceedings.

On 10 April, publications on the Poznań conference also appeared on the website of the international organisation WorldDMB http://www.worlddab.org

See the conference agenda



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