Welcome to the digital era!

Institutional framework

On June 16, 2006, at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference of the International Telecommunication Union [I.T.U.] held in Geneva, a treaty agreement was signed regarding the digitization of the television signal for countries belonging to Region 1 [i.e. Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Islamic Republic of Iran]. Under the agreement, the digital terrestrial switchover in these areas should have concluded by June 2015, with the exception of countries in Africa to which an extension has been given.

The transition from analogue to digital television came along with significant advantages, and for this reason it is a global project that involves all countries in all continents.

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. It creates new distribution networks and expands the potential for wireless innovation and services. The more efficient spectrum usage allows for more channels to be carried across fewer airwaves, which in turn lead to greater convergence of services.

The inherent flexibility offered by digital terrestrial broadcasting supports video reception, internet and multimedia data on mobile devices, thus making applications, services and information accessible and usable anywhere, at any time. The switchover opens the door to new innovations such as digital broadcasting for handheld TV [DVB-H] along with High Definition television [HDTV] and at the same time it provides greater bandwidth to existing mobile, fixed and radio-navigation services.”

You can read the announcement here.

For the implementation of I.T.U.’s decision in our country, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, in cooperation with the Minister of State, published J.M.D. 21161/12-8-2008, G.G. 1680/Β’/20-8-2008 in conjunction with article 14 of Law 3592/18-7-2007, G.G. 161/Α’/19-7-2007, which determined the specifications for the implementation of the project. The frequencies, the minimum technical broadcasting requirements [broadcasting center coordinates, altitudinal location, etc.], broadcasting limits [e.g. transmission power], as well as the periodic inspection procedure were all specified. This particular J.M.D. indicated 21 temporary broadcasting centers and temporary frequencies for digital signal broadcast, since in Greece no available frequencies were available that could be granted by the Hellenic Telecommunication and Post Commission [Ε.Ε.Τ.Τ. in Greek]. This is why, as opposed to other countries where analogue and digital signals were broadcasted simultaneously, in our country ceasing of the analogue signal was required in order to activate the digital one.

The permanent [final] frequencies, that is, the Digital Terrestrial Television Signal Broadcasting map which was finalized on October 2012, were determined in Joint Ministerial Decision 42800/5-10-2012, G.G. 2704/Β’/5-10-2012. After the completion of the study, in this J.M.D. 156 permissible broadcasting centers throughout Greece were also determined [including the 21 mentioned previously], which were required to successfully complete the country’s switchover from analogue terrestrial to digital terrestrial broadcasting. In addition, the frequencies that are to be used by each of the 156 broadcasting centers have been defined, as well as well as other matters such as geographical coverage.

The order in which the regions gained access to the digital signal and the dates of broadcasting center activation per allotment [the timetable] were also determined by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Services in cooperation with the Minister of State and were announced with relative Joint Ministerial Decisions.

Based on J.M.D. 41167/1375/Φ.111Α/22-8-2013, G.G. 2064/Β’/23-8-2013, which was modified by J.M.D. 46157/1815/Φ.150/16-9-2013, G.G 2421/Β’/27-9-2013, followed by J.M.D. 23953/724/Φ.110Α/15-4-2014, G.G. 1045/Β’/28-4-2014 and then by J.M.D. 30150/901/Φ.111A/16-5-2014, G.G. 1338/Β’/27-5-2014, ΟIK. 40518/1168/Φ.111Α/4-7-2014, G.G. 1879/Β’/10-7-2014, 55304/1630/24-9-2014, G.G. 2555/Β’/25-9-2014 and finally by J.M.D. ΟΙΚ. 62941/1831/Φ111Α/29-10-2014, G.G. 2931/Β’/30-10-2014, the switchover was to be completed in 325 days from Τ0 [starting date based on the usage rights we were granted on February 7, 2014], that is, on December 29, 2014.

Then in accordance with the Decision 2017/899 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017, the spectral dimension of 700 MHz, had to be released for the development of the 5G network by mobile phone companies. Thus, the State proceeded to modify the Frequency Map with the JMC 18/2020, Government Gazette B '1752, 7/5/2020 , JMC 22176, GG B 3011 8/7/2021 and JMC 36/2021 30/09/2021, which defines the transition order for each region as well as the new frequencies for the digital terrestrial television.

Note: Joint Ministerial Decision are only available in Greek.