Romania postpones move to digital TV

By Iulia Blaga

    The Romanian Government has cancelled a tender for the first two digital multiplexes and postponed the crossover to the digital terestrial TV by three years, from January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2015.

    By an act published in Monitorul Oficial (www.monitoruloficial.ro), the official publication of the Romanian state, the Government promises that within 45 days it will issue another act with the new calendar of the transition from analogue to digital TV and that the seven companies which already acquired the technical specifications in order to participate at the auction will have their money returned.

    The seven companies are: RCS&RDS (www.rcs-rds.ro), Romtelecom (www.romtelecom.ro), TDF S.A.S., Media Sat (www.mediasat.ro), Societatea Romana de Radiocomunicatii (SNR), Osterreichische Rundfunksender GmbH & Co KG (ORS, www.ors.at) and General Satellite Sofia (www.general-satellite.com).

    The official explanation for the decision is the social and economic condition of the country. The Government approved the act without consulting the National Authority for Readjustments in Communications (ANCOM, www.anrcti.ro), the official institution which initiated an international procedure for assigning the first two licenses, following a previous act approved in June 2010.

    The new act states that digital terestrial TV should cover 90% of the country by January 1, 2015. Previously Romania promised the EU that it would end analogue TV by January 1, 2012, in line with the EU requirement.