LONDON — South Tyrol is an autonomous province in the northern part of Italy. On Nov. 14, the Broadcasting Authority of South Tyrol RAS announced a shutdown plan for VHF FM in the region. The plan, approved by the state government, allows for the switch off the first VHF systems within this year if DAB reception is guaranteed inside the buildings and VHF reception is still possible “from a more remote facility in a slightly reduced quality.” The planned shutdowns will start as early as Dec. 5, affecting transmission of 3 different ORF programs (Ö1, ORF-Radio Tirol, Ö3).
Their two DAB + transmission networks currently have 82 transmitters in operation, carrying 22 programs, according to ras.bz.it. Two-hundred-twenty-six FM transmitters are needed for the same VHF coverage.
In order to continue operating the VHF transmission network with 226 transmitters in full, the transmitters, which are now over 30 years old, “must be replaced,” according to the same article. When systems are switched off, the released devices can be used as spare parts and no new ones need to be purchased.
In Munich, Germany, Antenne Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG (a consortium of Absolut Digital GmbH & Co. KG and MEDIA BROADCAST Digital Radio GmbH) was confirmed as the new platform provider of the second nationwide DAB + multiplex, reports radioszene.de. The second national digital radio multiplex will bring up to 16 additional radio programs nationwide, with the planned construction of approximately 70 transmitters, nationwide coverage will be achieved at the start of the platform, which, according to the specifications of the media authorities, will take six years to fully build.
In France, the Union of Independent Radio stations (SIRTI) expressed its satisfaction with the recent announcement of the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA) on the next steps in the deployment of digital terrestrial radio (RNT), including two solicitations for applications, scheduled for 2018 and 2019, each covering 15 major French cities, according to cbnews.fr. SIRTI is finally in favor of definitively abandoning the TDMB standard in favor of DAB +, a clarification that "would simplify the industrial approach."