DAB Updates From Flanders, Norway and Ukraine
Digital radio expansion continues
January 10, 2017
Flanders is the northern region of Belgium where the locals speak the dutch language. During the last week of December, the Flemish Parliament approved the new plan of the Flemish Media Minister Gatz, which provides a focus on digital radio.
The commercial radio stations there (QMusic, Joe, and Nostalgia) had their FM licenses renewed for four years, till the end of 2021. At the same time, these stations are required to add DAB+ broadcasts of their programs in 2018.
In addition, Minister Gatz wants to add one radio network that will include Flemish and Dutch music, which will be licensed for nine years, also broadcasting via DAB+. The Flemish government has yet to determine the startup date for this new network station, according to mediamagazine.nl.
While the big news from Norway is that the FM shutdowns will start during the week of January 9th, there is other news as well. The electrical grid operator Haugland Kraft plans to start up its own DAB network soon, in the southwest portion of the country.
Haugland will be the network operator, using its own set of mux transmitters, to carry a number of local radio stations. Haugland has ordered a complete DAB head-end system from Paneda, which includes multiplexers, encoders, and management systems. The system will be realized in the Paneda server version, using VMware. “Each broadcaster in the system will be offered their own web user interface enabling the content providers to manage the system independently,” according to Paneda.
At the end of December, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine National Council decided to contact the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine regarding amendments to the plan for radio frequency resources throughout the country. A proposal has been made to offer standard broadcasting T-DAB for existing radio frequencies in the 174 - 230 MHz band.
"The question was whether to leave it for TV or digital radio. We have long studied the experience of our European colleagues and concluded that it is necessary to do this, as do most European countries… Therefore we introduce digital radio to this frequency band 174 - 230 MHz," said Alexander Ilyashenko, quoted in nrada.gov.ua.
The chairman of the National Council Yuriy Artemenko summarized thus: “…If you want to develop digital radio, you have the frequency."