More Headway for DAB in Eastern Europe

Digital radio is gaining a foothold in Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and other countries
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RIGA, Latvia � In December 2016, state-owned LVRTC in Latvia started testing DAB, and anticipates making it a regular operation after one year.�The mux ensemble has room for up to 18 radio programs, and LVRTC is active with 11 programs, including five exclusive digital programs. During 2017 commercial radio broadcasters will also enrich the offer. About 60% of the Latvian population is covered by the DAB mux, according toradiowoche.de.

The Czech Republic is the most advanced in DAB at this point in time. There are 29 radio programs from the state radio station Cesk� rozhlas and from private radio stations available via DAB +, including numerous exclusive programs. Almost 60% percent of the population is covered.�Czech Radiokomunikace�recently added a new transmitter�in Beroun to the network of Czech Radio's experimental digital�audio broadcasting, according totelecompaper.com.

In Poland DAB + is already in regular operation.�The national radio station Polskie Radio broadcasts 28 national and regional radio programs, including seven exclusively on DAB +. About 56% of the population is covered.

In Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania there are ongoing pilot programs using DAB and DAB +, according toradiowoche.de. Other countries like Lithuania and Estonia are interested in digital radio as well, as is the Ukraine. On Dec. 22�of last year, the National Council for Radio and Television in Kiev decided to provide frequencies for DAB +.

"The strong interest of the East European countries in the digital radio DAB + is all the more remarkable since the history of the VHF band is quite young compared to Germany," says Dr. Willi Steul, director of Deutschlandradio.�Some FM radio transmissions have been found in the OIRT band (65.8 MHz to 74 MHz) in most Eastern European countries not in the known FM band (87.5 to 108 MHz). It was only after the end of the Cold War that migration to the FM band began...�

"A Europe-wide definition for a multichip, which also receives DAB + in addition to FM, could accelerate the development," said Steul.��

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