The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) has signed a contract worth around $1.5M with Arqiva in the United Kingdom to provide a digital broadcasting network in Gibraltar. The network in Gibraltar will comprise multiplexing and transmission for both digital TV and DAB digital radio. On each of two television multiplexes Gibraltar will be able to transmit up to six programme services. Similarly with digital radio, the two multiplexes will each allow for four separate services. This means a greater choice of programmes for residents and visitors, and that additional broadcasters could be licensed by the Gibraltar government.
In November last year at the WorldDMB seminar in the Hague, the Dutch public service broadcaster Nederlandse Publieke Omroep (NPO) declared it is looking to roll out a DAB+ network for the Netherlands with 95 percent coverage by 2017. Tom Visser, project manager for digital radio at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, echoed support of DAB digital radio in the Netherlands, stating that the Dutch ministries were “fully committed” to digital radio and that the political climate was right in the Netherlands with both public and commercial broadcasters and other relevant parties working together on the expansion of digital radio.
Progress on the roll-out of DAB+ in the Netherlands continues in 2012 with MTVNL launching 6 TV channels via DMB and one radio channel via DAB+ in July. The WorldDMB Project Office is also in the process of working with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation to arrange a seminar in Amsterdam during IBC 2012.
On 8 May, 2012 the AGCOM, the Italian regulator published on its website the decision for the frequency assignment for DAB digital radio in the pilot area in the Trentino Alto Adige region.The following blocks are assigned: National radio: 12A 12B 12CLocal radio the blocks are: 12D, 10A, 10B, 10C and 10DThe usage rights of these frequencies will be assigned to the different consortiums such as Rai, ClubDAB, EuroDAB and RAS which will have submitted the request and satisfy the requirements within 60 days of the publication of the decision (7 May 2012). An update on the Italian market will be available by the end of July.
The key message that came out of the Now Radio! conference which took place in May in Wroclaw was that digital radio cannot remain analogue and that DAB+ is the standard of choice for the Polish market. Over 150 delegates gathered from all sectors of the Polish broadcasting market including national and regional public, commercial and social radio broadcasters to hear from a panel of international speakers. The conference was also attended by high level representatives from the National Broadcasting Council, the Office of Electronic Communications and the major infrastructure operator Emitel.
The event held by Radio Wroclaw, a Polish leading regional public broadcaster which has been at the forefront of pushing for DAB+ for years feels it was important that a serious discussion on the future of Polish digital radio was held. The next stage for the Polish radio industry is to think seriously about how to get DAB+ on air.
The latest news coming out of the UK highlights the progress being made with the roll out of digital radio. The latest Q1 2012 RAJAR figures demonstrate growth of digital radio listening with DAB digital radio listening at a record 200 million hours, an increase of 15% on year on year.
The RAJAR results also highlighted that leading stations for digital listening have shown strong year on year performance. The ‘Digital Audiences Top 20’ list showed for the first time seven digital-only stations in the list: BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC 6 Music, The Hits, Smash Hits, BBC 1Xtra, Planet Rock and Absolute Radio 80s. This good news for digital radio only stations was also reinforced with digital radio station BBC Radio 6 Music winning the Sony Award for UK Station of the Year. This was a landmark moment for digital radio and is the first time in the 30-year history of the Sony Radio Academy Awards that a digital-only station has won UK Station of the Year – the biggest radio prize of the year.
VW announces 2013 models will have DAB as standard
VW has confirmed that DAB digital radio will be fitted as standard across all models (except one, the VW UP!) from 2013. VW represents almost 10% of the in-vehicle market and this announcement keeps the UK on track to hit its target for the majority of new cars having digital radio as standard by the end of 2013.
WorldDMB Project Office