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DAB+ Progress in France and Beyond

Developments include a new digital roadmap, more DAB+ licenses for local expansion and in-car advances  

The author is WorldDAB France representative

Jean-Marc Dubreuil

PARIS — Held in Paris at the end of January, the European Radio and Digital Audio Show brought together stakeholders from across the French radio industry and beyond to discuss the future of radio in France, Europe and around the world. It also served as a platform to highlight the opportunities DAB+ digital radio brings for the radio, manufacturing, retail and automotive sectors.


During a session dedicated to the development of DAB+ in France, Nicolas Curien from French regulator Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel joined me on stage. As did representatives from commercial and community radio, GfK and public service broadcaster Radio France.

The WorldDAB booth at the European Digital Radio and Audio Show featured a wide range of DAB+ receivers.

Together we outlined the progress of DAB+ digital radio throughout Europe and elsewhere, and touched on the EECC directive, the EU regulation that mandates digital radio in cars across Europe from Dec. 21, 2020, which has already been transposed into national legislation in a number of countries, including France.

On a national level, the CSA, published a new DAB+ roadmap highlighting DAB+ developments plans for the 2020–2023 period. According to the new roadmap, calls for applications will be launched for 50 local allotments in that period of time — these primarily concern the cities of Dijon, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, Caen, Nancy, Paris, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Poitiers and Toulouse.

[U.K. Government Restates Support for Digital Radio]

As for France’s national multiplexes, a call for applications will be launched for the remaining spot available on Mux 1, while the last spot on Mux 2 will be dedicated to data broadcasting services such as traffic information.

The CSA’s newly launched DAB+ interactive map.

As outlined by the CSA, DAB+ experimentation and trials may take place in France’s overseas territories in coming years, though this will largely depend on interest expressed by local players.

At the show, the French media regulator also announced the launch of a new interactive map giving listeners the opportunity to see what DAB+ services are available in their respective areas. The service, available here, also includes planned DAB+ rollouts across France.


Industry professionals also widely discussed the future of radio in the car during the three-day event, with the likes of Audi, Radioplayer, RadioDNS, Xperi, Radioline and TDF in attendance to voice their opinions on hybrid radio. The solutions to access metadata exist, and it is up to the radios and receiver manufacturers to make the most of them.

Ultimately, the goal is to access quality, reliable and affordable information in order to provide an improved experience for users, and according to Audi and other innovative players, having one single standard that is used globally will most definitely help achieve that.