by Krystyna Kuhn, member of the WorldDAB Steering Board and expert in the Strategy Department at the National Broadcasting Council of Poland (KRRiT)
On Friday 17 May, the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) of Poland organised a conference titled “More radio!” in Warsaw, attended by over 50 stakeholders from across the industry, including broadcasters, operators and journalists.
The event was marked by the official launch and implementation of the new international DAB+ logo in the Polish market, and more importantly, the start of a licensing process to build regional digital multiplexes in 36 cities across Poland – announced by the President of the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) Witold Kolodziejski. The multiplexes will be rolled out in four stages, including Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow, and Poznan, with the first stage having started in May 2019 and the fourth stage being completed in 2020.
Polskie Radio has confirmed its plan to expand its DAB+ network, particularly along highways and other main roads. The expansion is set to bring population coverage to 82% by 2021. Poland currently has one national multiplex on air, operated by Polskie Radio.
Taking into account the lack of FM frequencies available in Poland and the opportunities presented by the rollout of DAB+, KRRiT is hoping to move forward with the digitisation of broadcast radio in Poland by 2022.
The four-stage plan for the rollout of the multiplexes
Regular multiplexes in Poland were first launched by public broadcaster Polskie Radio in Warsaw and Katowice in October 2013, with four other cities following suit in 2014, and a further 12 cities launching in spring 2015, helping DAB+ reach over 55% of the population of Poland.
In Wroclaw, public broadcaster Radio Wroclaw, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology and Poland’s National Institute of Telecommunications are currently running a single frequency DAB+ network for small and local broadcasters in and around Wroclaw. The tests began in 2015 and will run until the end of 2019, with a possibility for the tests to be extended. Another six DAB+ test transmissions were also launched within last two years.
As for the rest of Polish frequency resources (two multiplexes from the Geneva Plan), KKRiT president Kolodziejski stated that the updated digital radio action plan – the new version of the Green Paper – will be published and broadcasters will be consulted by the end of this year, after which an announcement will be made on the licencing procedure for nationwide and sub-regional services.