WorldDAB calls for protection of spectrum dedicated to broadcast radio
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Friday 13 November 2015
Digital radio based on the DAB/DAB+ standard is fast becoming the core future platform for free-to-air radio in Europe and other regions around the world. GE06 anticipated these developments and ensured that sufficient spectrum in Band III was allocated to digital radio. It is essential that this allocation is retained.

In a growing number of countries, Band III is used to accommodate DAB / DAB+ digital radio services. As a result, it would be impractical to move free-to-air DTT services out of bands IV and V into band III (due to growing demands for this spectrum from mobile services).

The radio industry has already given up any claim to L Band spectrum. However, the international development of DAB / DAB+ means this is not a feasible option for Band III.

International development of DAB
Norway and Switzerland have already planned for Digital Switchover (DSO) between 2017 and 2024 which means that band III will become the most important sound broadcasting band in those countries.

Germany, Netherlands, UK, Denmark and Italy are taking steps to follow suit. Other markets taking early steps include Poland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic and Austria. Outside Europe, DAB+ in band III is well established in Australia, and a growing number of markets are embarking on trials, including South Africa, the Gulf States and Thailand.

Last week saw UK Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, and Dorothee Bär, German Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), set out their shared vision for radio's digital future. Speaking at the WorldDAB General Assembly in London, the two Ministers emphasised their commitment to digital radio and the importance of working together to accelerate the growth of DAB in Europe.

Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB said in his presentation,  “DAB digital radio is becoming firmly established as the core future platform for radio. Retaining Band III for radio is of critical importance both to listeners and to the long term health of the radio industry.

“We encourage spectrum regulators to recognise the benefits which digital terrestrial radio brings to listeners (e.g. greater choice and clearer quality reception) and also its ability to deliver reliable, free-to-air information to listeners on the move - especially in times of emergency.”

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