PDR Lao Ended Digital TV Broadcasting Service to Resolve Signal Interference with MUX MCOT Broadcasting Service in Nakhon Panom Province and Agreed to Join Mobile Service Signal Sensing to Prevent Signal Interference Along Thai – PDR Lao Border and Promote Spectrum Sharing in the Case of Natural Disasters

Air Vice Marshal Thanapan Raicharoen, Ph.D., NBTC Assistant Secretary-General, stated that the lack of common coordination and assignment plan among neighboring countries has led to the problems of signal inference along the borders. Hence, the 7th Joint Technical Committee (JTC) on Coordination and Assignment along common border between Thailand and PDR Loa had been organized to seek proper resolutions. The event was attended by representatives from both public and private agencies involved in broadcasting and telecommunications businesses in order to jointly discuss on the concerned matters. At the meeting, representatives from Thailand reported the problem of MUX MCOT signal interference in Nakhon Panom Province due to PDR Lao’s digital TV service which is broadcasted on Channel 41 using 630 – 638 MHz spectrum which is the same spectrum used by MUX MCOT. As a result, the people living in Nakhon Panom Province and nearby areas were unable to view the channel broadcasted by MUX MCOT. Fortunately, PDR Lao agreed to end its broadcasting service in the areas opposite of Nakhon Panom Province.    

Furthermore, both Thailand and PDR Lao agreed to cooperatively conduct signal sensing in order to use the collected data as reference for making 850 MHz spectrum adjustment in WCDMA system to avoid interference with PDR Lao's GSM service which uses 900 MHz spectrum. Formerly, the problem of signal interference could not be resolved until the ending of 850 MHz spectrum concession agreement which shall take place in year 2018. This is due to technical difficulties by which both countries are using the same spectrum but in different system. Hence, the meeting resolved the issue by requiring each party to report their spectrum allocation along the border in order to prevent reoccurrence of such problem.

At the same, the meeting approved UHF and VHF spectrums sharing between the two countries in the case of natural disasters, totaling 7 spectrums and 1 spectrum, respectively. In addition, Thailand had offered to provide trainings on digital TV spectrum planning and the use of spectrum sensing device to PDR Loa next year.

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