knowledge centre

Exploiting the digital dividend – a European approach

Introduction to the study

EU Member States are either planning or are in the process of switching over from analogue television signals to digital. This switchover will free up a significant amount of spectrum (primarily in the UHF band), the so-called ‘digital dividend’. The digital dividend is a unique opportunity to realise economic and social benefits across Europe, due to:

  • the superior propagation characteristics of the UHF band and the amount of spectrum that is potentially available
  • the wide range of potential uses of the spectrum, (including SD/HD DTT, cellular/wireless broadband, broadcast mobile-TV networks, low-power uses)
  • the potential role this spectrum could play in creating economic growth and new employment opportunities across Europe.

However, there is a risk that the actions of individual Member States could negatively affect the interests of others. There may, therefore, be an overall gain in welfare if there was some degree of co-ordinated action at EU level over the future use of the digital dividend.

The European Commission appointed Analysys Mason, together with consortium partners DotEcon and Hogan & Hartson, to ascertain what action needs to be undertaken at EU level to ensure the benefits of the digital dividend are maximised.

Scope of the study

The study included:

  • conducting an inventory of the situation in each Member State regarding the digital dividend
  • carrying out analysis to understand the demand for the spectrum, as well as the social and economic value of potential users
  • reviewing  technical issues such as technology trends and interference issues
  • developing a range of scenarios for a co-ordinated EU approach, and a cost/benefit analysis of each approach.

A significant input was consultation with stakeholders: various consultation events form part of this study.

Benefits and results

The output of the study includes a final recommendation for a co-ordinated approach, along with a proposed roadmap for implementation. On 28 October 2009, the European commission also adopted a Commission Recommendation and a Communication to the European Parliament and Council based on this study.


Documents published by the study

Final report  

Materials from the final presentation on 9 September 2009


Materials from the Member States workshop on 26 June 2009

Materials from the Member States workshop on 15 April 2009  
Materials from the Commission stakeholders hearings on 6 March 2009  
Introduction to the study presented to the RSPG on 19 November 2008



Public final presentation (Brussels - 9 September 2009)  
Second Member States workshop (Brussels - 26 June 2009)  
Member States workshop (Brussels - 15 April 2009)  
Stakeholder hearings (Brussels - 6 March 2009)


EC website regarding the digital dividend


The study team

The study team consists of a consortium of three partners:

Contact the study team: