Germany’s Bär Speaks at WorldDAB General Assembly

Germany is fully committed to a digital future for radio, Bär says
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LONDON�Dorothee B�r, theGerman Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), spoke at the recent WorldDAB General Assembly in London, attended by over 200 experts in the field of digital radio.�

"Germany is fully committed to a digital future for radio. DAB+ offers significant benefits for listeners and broadcasters.� We see particular advantages for motorists� with the potential for greatly enhanced free-to-air traffic information services. �DAB+ is emerging as the future platform for radio in Europe...Listeners are already benefitting from a wide range of new digital radio services and significant improvements in reception quality, so the time is right for European governments to work together to accelerate the international adoption of digital radio."

Delegates also heard about the opportunities which DAB provides for commercial radio: Case studies from the UK, Italy and Australia illustrated how private broadcasters are developing new services, to grow audiences and generate new revenues.

Media regulator Ofcom also provided an updateabout the cost-effective solutions for small scale local broadcasters currently being tested in the UK.

The third major focus of the event was the automotive sector. �Several countries reported significant progress on getting DAB into vehicles. The UK announcedthat 75 percent of new vehicles are fitted with DAB. Norway and Switzerland reported similar figures, of 63 percent and 60 percent respectively.

Regarding the future of digital radio across Europe: Norway leads the way with the Digital Switchover (DSO) planned for 2017; Switzerland is close behind with DSO scheduled between 2020 and 2024. Progress was reported in Germany, Netherlands, UK, Denmark and Italy. Other countries taking early steps with digital radio include Poland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic and Austria.

Outside Europe, DAB+ is well established in Australia, and a growing number of countries are embarking on trials, including South Africa, the Gulf States and Thailand.

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