DAB Coverage Growing in Scotland and Across Germany

February 16, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, VA.—In the pages of Radio magazine we often update you on the progress of digital radio across Europe and the rest of the world.  Let’s take a look at a few recent pieces of news on that subject.

Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland, now has almost 70 services available on DAB digital radio, 30 of which have started over the past 18 months, following the launch of the Glasgow small-scale DAB mini-mux and the launch of national DAB network, Sound Digital. In 2016, BBC Scotland launched a pop up digital station, BBC Radio Scotland Music Extra, and Wireless Group collaborated with the Scottish Sun to launch the Christmas pop up, Scottish Sun Christmas Radio.

“This explosion of content has helped drive digital listening in the area, increasing by 76 percent in the past five years. And now, with over 50 percent of Glasgow households having access to a DAB radio, the amount of digital listening is only going to continue increase,” writes Spencer Pryor, in radiotoday.co.uk.

RadioToday is partnering with the Radio Academy’s Scotland branch and Digital Radio UK, as well as Revo Radio, Radioplayer and Hyde Park Installers, in hosting an event in Glasgow on Thursday, February 23, celebrating digital radio in the region. If you would like to attend this celebration of digital radio in Glasgow please email rosie.kendrick@digitalradiouk.com.

Germany

VHF FM radio stations are discovering that DAB+ can extend their terrestrial range. Via DAB+, the local station Antenna Mainz has closed coverage gaps in its licensed FM broadcasting area in Rhineland-Palatinate. Antenna Frankfurt can also be heard via DAB+, which means that for the first time all of the people in the Rhine-Main area are covered, while their FM radio network still has large gaps. The Schleswig-Holstein private R.SH has also been heard since last year in the Hamburg area via DAB+, where it also provides coverage to commuters. In Baden-Wuerttemberg, eight waves, which can only be heard locally and regionally on VHF, can now be heard in large parts of the country via DAB+ in a nationwide multiplex, according to radiowoche.de.

This year a second national multiplex is set to increase the nationwide range of 16 commercial radio stations. Together with the transmitters in the first multiplex, 25 commercial radio stations would then be broadcasted nationwide via DAB+. In December, the State Media Institutes published the tender for the second Bundesmux on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior. Interested platform operators can submit applications to the responsible by Feb. 24.

Small-scale DAB multiplexes already exist in the UK and Switzerland, and 2017 could see the introduction of small-scale DAB solutions in Germany. Based on open-source software, small-scale solutions can be implemented at low cost. Radio broadcasters may be able to get on a digital radio mux for as little as just 200 Euros per month, as potential operators of such multiplexes calculate, according to the same article.  Small scale Multiplexes are planned in Leipzig and Munich, and there are also interested parties in Cologne, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.

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