Sydney - Nov 20, 2013 - Over-the-air digital radio reception is set to improve with the start-up of 12 commercial radio industry-funded DAB+ On Channel Repeaters (OCR) in metropolitan radio license areas. The localized transmitters, which are scheduled to be turned on into the first part of 2014, will boost digital radio coverage in dense urban areas, as well as extending coverage in geographically challenging environments and at the boundaries of the license areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
OCRs have been tested successfully in the Melbourne area with significant enhancement of in-building reception of digital radio services in central Melbourne. Melbourne will be the first of the 12 commercial radio repeater sites to be licensed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for transmission. Repeaters in Bacchus Marsh and Fishermen's Bend will further service the Victorian capital.
In Sydney, sites include Collaroy, Newport, Winmalee, Mt Badgelly, and Redfern. Mt. Mee will host a transmitter to service Brisbane's northwest, while Perth's DAB+ coverage will be boosted by repeaters in Perth and Minderie. There is no current need for repeaters in Adelaide as the existing digital radio transmitter is located at Mt. Lofty and provides very good coverage.
Listening figures show that more than 1.6 million people or nearly 13 percent of the population across the five state capitals listen via a DAB+ device each week. Time spent listening (TSL) to radio on a DAB+ digital radio device is more than double that of TSL to radio online.
The 11 Australian vehicle manufacturers that include DAB+ digital radio as standard or an option in selected vehicles will also benefit from the improved coverage. These include Ford, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Audi, Hino, Fuso and Isuzu Trucks.