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Deutschlandradio Plans Launch of More DAB+ Transmitters

Short-range FM transmitters at six locations will go dark at the end of June as the German public-service broadcaster brings more DAB+ transmitters online

Germany public service broadcaster Deutschlandradio is accelerating its distribution via digital radio. On June 30, 2022, the broadcaster will switch off several short-range FM transmitters at six locations in the states of Hesse, Baden–Württemberg, and Saxony–Anhalt in favor of DAB+.

Deutschlandradio Director Stefan Raue
Deutschlandradio Director Stefan Raue

The Deutschlandfunk (89.2 MHz) and Deutschlandfunk Kultur (95.2 MHz) channels originating from Pforzheim, Baden–Württemberg, as well as the Deutschlandfunk (107.1 MHz) channel from Dessau, Saxony–Anhalt, will switch from FM to DAB+. In Hesse, the move affect Deutschlandfunk from Eschwege (100.6 MHz) and Hofgeismar (106.9 MHz), as well as Deutschlandfunk Kultur from Bad Camberg (88.6 MHz) and Gießen (107.5 MHz).

The new DAB+ services will operate in the national DAB+ VHF Channel 5C block along with the public Detuschlandfunk Nova and DLF DokDeb channels and other private broadcasters.

[Related: “Does 5G Make Sense for Radio?”]

Deutschlandradio launched DAB services in 2011, and since 2018 it has distributed programming in some parts of Germany only digitally. The broadcaster has commissioned 12 new transmitters for its nationwide DAB+ network for 2022 with new locations going on air in the states of Bavaria, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig–Holstein, as well as additional stations in Baden–Württemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony.

The broadcaster expects to have at total of 161 locations broadcasting its DAB+ channels nationwide by year-end, reaching some 90% of the German populace.

“We are convinced of the digitalization of radio for economic, ecological and technical reasons,” stated Deutschlandradio Director Stefan Raue. “DAB+ is being requested by more and more people, and the user-friendliness speaks of the platform speaks for itself. Permanent parallel operation of DAB+ and FM is therefore not a sensible option.”