Overview

Plum’s track record in broadcasting covers policy and regulatory advice, technical planning of broadcast networks, and technical advice on delivery platforms for audio-visual services. We are able to draw on expertise from our other service areas to offer clients fresh and holistic insights into a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive sector.

Delivery platforms

We have conducted studies on the evolution of transmission networks for audio-visual services and the implications on public policy and business strategy. Our expertise encompasses all transmission technologies – terrestrial, cable, satellite and internet protocol (IP), enabling us to advise on a wide range of areas, such as the economics of delivery platforms, technical standards and quality of service issues

We have undertaken work for competition authorities, regulators and industry players seeking to change regulation. Our advice has been used to inform and influence decisions on digital TV switchover, network infrastructure convergence and regulatory standards and enforcement.

Policy and regulation

Plum are specialists in the field of policy and regulation. In broadcasting we have extensive experience in helping clients understand how the changing landscape of the audio-visual sector impacts on regulation, business and the viewer. We have worked across a variety of issues including:

  • DTT switchover, analogue switch-off and technology migration
  • Competition assessment of TV markets
  • Regulation of broadcast transmission services
  • Business case assessment and financial reviews

We have utilised a range of methodological approaches in our work, including impact assessments, cost-benefit analysis, scenario planning, public value tests, value chain analysis and consumer surveys.

Technical planning for broadcast networks

Plum have undertaken detailed transmission network planning for radio and TV networks, both digital and analogue, for broadcasters and regulators. This work includes site selection, antenna specification and design, interference prediction (including international coordination in accordance with ITU-R plans) and coverage validation through drive testing. We have also planned international services delivered using skywave at Medium Frequency (MF) and High Frequency (HF).

On a more strategic level, we have undertaken detailed surveys of broadcast receiver performance, in the context of developing spectrum sharing models and setting coverage standards. We have carried out intensive field strength surveys to validate coverage planning models (e.g. ITU-R P.1546, ITU-R P.1812 and the ‘UK Planning Model’).  We have also run modelling and field trials of ‘white space’ use of DTT spectrum and mutual interference between adjacent mobile and broadcast services at 700 MHz and 800 MHz.

Content services

Our experience extends to the content services sector – in particular, the supply and consumption of audio-visual content.  We have assessed the supply chain of audio-visual content and estimated the economic potential of cross-border services in Europe, and haveworked on competition issues arising from convergence and access to premium pay TV content. With respect to public service broadcasting, we have reviewed regulations governing access to content (including “must-carry” and “must-offer” requirements) and future modes of delivery and funding mechanisms.

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