DAB+ in South Africa – update from Radiodays Africa

Lynn Mansfield, SADIBA Chairperson

Last week I was at Radiodays Africa, presenting an update on DAB+ trials  and showing some of the latest DAB receivers.

This year’s event took place at the University of the Witwatersrand from 29 June – 1 July 2016, attracting more than 250 delegates including a range of international and local media experts.

The National Association of Broadcasters (the NAB) and Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) are currently engaged in a DAB+ Trial and Broadcast Regulator and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has extended the DAB+ trial licence for 4 months to 12th August 2016.

There are 19 services (plus one pop-up) in operation and phase one of the trial has been completed. Results from the first Sentech report on Johannesburg network verification have been published with the second on Pretoria due soon.

The findings were excellent, with overall performance of domestic receivers and professional measuring tools exceeding expectations. Measured coverage results were correlated with predictions and saw the following:

  • 2kW coverage predictions +- 1db higher than predicted
  • 5kW coverage predictions +- 2db higher than predicted
  • 10kW coverage predictions +- 2db higher than predicted

Momentum behind DAB+ continues to build, with all three tiers of broadcasters participating in the trials, from community radio to public service and the commercial sector.

We are now waiting for ICASA approval on a new 12-month trial licence before moving to phase two. This will involve around four months of audio and data testing, with phase three featuring closed listener group testing. We’re working with multiple groups including automotive manufacturers as part of phase three and would encourage others to get involved.

It was another busy year at Radiodays and the sessions were well attended. People were clearly impressed with what DAB+ offers, particularly when it came to the sound quality and reception on the new LG Stylus phone which certainly made an impression.

To find out more on the trials and DAB+ in South Africa, contact the WorldDAB project office.

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This entry was posted on July 4, 2016 by in Digital Radio Rollout, south africa, WorldDAB Project Office and tagged , , , .

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