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The Television Digital Switchover and the Digital Dividend

The term ‘digital dividend’ refers to the radio spectrum freed up for new uses following the switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting, sometimes called the digital switchover (DSO).

Globally, as countries switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting, frequencies become available for new uses including fourth generation (4G) long term evolution (LTE) cellular technology. This is because digital television makes more efficient use of the spectrum than analogue television. In New Zealand, the process of clearing the digital dividend began in 2005 and culminated in late 2013 with the final analogue television "switch-off” and the auction of the 700 MHz band for 4G-LTE.

The allocation of the 700 MHz band for new uses has also resulted in changes to the frequencies on which radio microphones can operate, as radio microphones operate in the gaps between television broadcasts.

The digital switchover and digital dividend processes involved numerous consultations and much detailed policy and planning work. The information in this section provides access to different work streams within the greater digital dividend project including links to consultation papers, government announcements, and Radio Spectrum Management reports.

As well as the 700 MHz band, the digital switchover also cleared spectrum for new uses in VHF Band I and VHF Band III (44-51 and 174-230 MHz respectively).

Digital television switchover

Provides background on the transition to digital television

Read more about Digital television switchover

700 MHz auction overview

Overview of the digital dividend and 700 MHz auction process, including consultation documents, auction structure, and auction results.

Read more about 700 MHz auction overview

Radio microphone changes

Radio microphones are no longer permitted to operate in the 698-806 MHz frequency range. Useful information for those affected by this change can be found in this section.

Read more about Radio microphone changes

Last updated 7 July 2016