This morning (Mar. 15), a helicopter carefully maneuvered a new antenna into place atop Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower as part of TDF’s efforts to increase digital radio coverage in the Île de France.
The new antenna increases the height of the Eiffel Tower to 330 meters and marks the third time the tower’s height has been increased thanks to the addition of a broadcast antenna. At its original construction in 1889, the tower reached 312 meters, but the addition of a new television antenna in 1959 increased it to 318 meters, and a DTT digital television antenna added another 6 meters in 2005.
It was not announced which digital radio multiplex would make use of the new antenna or how quickly it would go into service.
A report from France Bleu Paris noted that the installation was successful, despite a little rain and mist. Reporter Rachael Saadoddine captured the installation on video.
TDF Group President–Director General Olivier Huart had announced plans for the new antenna in a January video laying out TDF’s plans for 2022, including greater investment in the infrastructure needed for DAB+.
Built originally for the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, the Eiffel Tower was originally scheduled to be demolished after 20 years; however, interest in using the site for military and commercial radio applications ended up saving the landmark.