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DAB On Air in Darwin

New services sign on in capital of Northern Territory, DAB+ services now on air in six Australian markets

With the launch of Top Country NT, Australians in Darwin, Northern Territory, are getting a taste of digital radio.

Grant Broadcasters, working with Commercial Radio Australia, launched a DAB+ trail service for Darwin in mid August. It follows the launch of a similar trial in the Australian capital, Canberra, in mid July.

The Australian government has committed to a roll of DAB+ in the five largest metropolitan areas — Sydney, New South Wales; Melbourne, Victoria; Brisbane, Queensland; Perth, Western Australia; and Adelaide, South Australia — but broadcasters are using DAB+ trial services to help spark interest in other parts of the country. Trials in Hobart, Tasmania, and Townsville, Queensland, are under discussion, according to CRA.

Grant Broadcasters operates Hot 100 and Mix 104.9 in Darwin, and has launched Top Country NT as a digital-only service for the trial. A second digital-only station is expected to be added to the service.

The transmissions are originating from the Broadcast Australia-run Deloraine Road transmission tower, and are expected to cover much of Darwin, despite being relatively low powered.