by Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB
DAB+ coverage triggers French receiver law
On 27 December 2018, the French regulator, the CSA, announced the achievement of a critical milestone in the development of the DAB+ market in France.
With the launch of DAB+ services in Lyon and Strasbourg in December 2018, following earlier launches in Paris, Nice, Marseille and Lille, 21.3% of the French population is now covered by digital radio broadcasts.
This figure (over 20%) triggers a law which will require all new radios sold in France to include DAB+. Consumer radios will need to be digital within 12 months; and automotive radios will need to comply within 18 months.
The French receiver market will be transformed
The French DAB+ receiver market is poised for dramatic growth.
Sales of consumer radios in France exceed 5 million units a year. In the last 12 months, fewer than five per cent of these devices were digital. This new legislation will require all new radios sold to have DAB+, creating a huge opportunity for manufacturers. This law will apply from the end of 2019.
For some classes of device, the legislation kicks in even more quickly – within three months, radios capable of displaying multimedia content will be required to have DAB+.
For automotive receivers, the law provides an 18 month window before radios need to be digital. Just over 2 million new cars are sold in France each year. Currently, about 20% of these have digital radio. By the middle of 2020, this position will have changed completely.
Full details of the law can be found here: https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000037856950&categorieLien=id
The French receiver law coincides with a similar law in Italy which requires all new radios (consumer and automotive) to be digital from January 2020.
The European Union has also introduced a Directive which will require all new car radios across the whole of the EU to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio by the end of 2020.
Aggressive expansion of DAB+ services is planned
DAB+ is currently available in France in six major cities covering just over 20% of the population. Over the next two years, this coverage will be extended rapidly – reaching 50% of the population by the end of 2019 and 70% of the population by the end of 2020.
In parallel, national services are being rolled out across the major road networks – backed by all the major commercial broadcasters.
DAB+ in France has truly arrived!