Covid-19, Crisis, Estonia, Internet, Technology, Telecomunications

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 01.06.2020, 18:44

Levira advises Estonians to watch TV using digital over-the-air network

BC, Tallinn, 06.04.2020.Print version
Estonian broadcast transmission provider Levira recommends residents to watch TV over the digital over-the-air network during the emergency situation to reduce the burden on mobile internet, informed LETA/BNS.

Since many people have taken up residence in rural areas during the crisis, the use of mobile internet has grown all over Estonia. Levira recommends to watch television using over-the-air signal received with an antenna to reduce the burden on data communication networks and have seamless access to news and entertainment also in places where there is no cable internet.  

The use of mobile internet has risen across Estonia during the emergency situation. According to telecom provider Elisa, total daily consumption in the mobile network has grown by about one-third, and during the evening peak time an increase of up to 10% can be observed. 

"Television signal is available all over Estonia via Levira's masts, and under normal conditions there are about 200,000 viewers who receive the signal from masts. Now their number could be much bigger because technically there is no limit to viewer numbers and over-the-air television signal is available also in HD," Levira CEO Tiit Tammiste said.

At present four free-to-air channels -- ETV, ETV2, ETV+ and the English-language news channel of France24 -- can be watched using the over-the-air signal in Estonia. To watch free-to-air channels, no subscription or agreement is necessary. The necessary technical equipment includes an antenna and a set-top box, unless the TV is equipped with one already.

In addition, Levira transmits over the air 43 pay-TV channels that can be watched with the Elisa TV package. 

"With the Elisa Klassik package it is possible to view 43 television channels, of which ten domestic channels are available also in clear HD format. If necessary, our technicians will help with the installation of an antenna as well as setting up all necessary equipment and tuning the TV,"  Silver Soomre, head of TV services at Elisa, said.

Digital services provider AS Levira runs a network of 22 transmitter towers across Estonia, including the Tallinn TV Tower. Levira operates the terrestrial digital TV network in Estonia that is used by around 250,000-280,000 people all over the country. The majority of local radio channels are transmitted through Levira towers.

Levira is owned in shares of 51% by the Estonian government and 49 percent by the French telecommunications company TDF.

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