Patrick Hannon and Joan Warner look ahead to 2018 and the items on their DAB wish-list.
While 2017 might have been the year of digital switchover in Norway, several other countries are discussing or planning their own digital radio futures and 2018 will see several important developments.
“Next year we’ll see the full impact of Norway’s digital switchover, with new listening figures expected in Q1 along with a final report to government,” said Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB. “We’re also expecting to hear more from Switzerland on their switchover timetable, currently planned to start in 2020. I’d also like to see an agreed roadmap from the UK government once 50% digital listening has been achieved – ideally with a timetable towards a switchover date.”
In Europe, WorldDAB has been working closely with key stakeholders to push for legislation that would require all new radios sold to have both analogue and digital capabilities. Stakeholders from 11 countries have already written to the European Commission and, in October, the European Parliament proposed an amendment to the European Electronic Communications Code which called for new radios to have digital capability.
“Next year we’re expecting further progress with securing EU support for receiver regulation,” said Hannon. “The next step with the EU is trialogue discussions between the Commission, Parliament and Member States and these will take place between now and April 2018.”
“In 2018 I’m expecting to see a significant increase in DAB+ receiver sales, driven by new markets in Asia Pacific,” said Joan Warner, CEO at Commercial Radio Australia and Vice-President, WorldDAB. “There have already been over 60 million home and automotive receivers sold – an impressive jump from 48 million in 2016. Next year we’re hoping to see trials and progress in Thailand and Indonesia and, as the large populations of these two countries further explore the benefits of DAB+, receiver sales will grow. “I’d also like to see a DAB+ chip integrated into another mobile phone, following the success of the LG Stylus DAB+, and further developments with affordable and easy to install aftermarket solutions for cars.”
WorldDAB will be running another DAB+ workshop in Kuala Lumpur on March 5, as part of the ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2018. “Over 140 industry professionals from 20 different countries joined the DAB+ workshop last year and we’re looking forward to welcoming even more delegates from the region in 2018,” says Warner.