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EECC Code in Focus at Brussels Motor Show

New EU rules requires all new car radios to be able to receive digital terrestrial radio

The Brussels Motor Show gets underway Jan. 19 and many broadcasters will be attending the event alongside automobile manufacturers to draw attention to the new EU rules requiring all new car radios to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio within two years.

The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) took effect Dec. 20 and states that “any car radio receiver integrated in a new vehicle available for sale or rent in the EU will be required to include a receiver capable of receiving and reproducing radio services provided via digital terrestrial radio broadcasting.”

EU Member States have two years from this date to transpose the code into national legislation

“Within two years, all new car radios in the EU will be able to receive digital terrestrial radio. This requirement applies equally to countries with established DAB+ markets, such as Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands and those at an earlier stage of development, such as Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic,” said Patrick Hannon, WorldDAB president.

Related: EU Directive Reveals European Vision for Radio Digitization

“We are very pleased and proud to have actively campaigned for this. Having all radios in passenger cars capable of digital terrestrial radio reception opens up new opportunities for broadcasters to develop ever more innovative services and for audiences to enjoy an enriched and better quality offer when they are on the move,” added Noel Curran, director general of the EBU.

Martin Koch, head of development multimedia at Audi AG stated: “This is a positive move for the auto industry which will drive the evolution of broadcast radio, by far the most used entertainment function in the car. We value the customer benefits offered by digital radio such as clear audio, more stations and album art.”

Related: EU Parliament Says ‘Yes’ to In-Car Digital Radio

In addition to its focus on the car, the EECC also gives EU member states the opportunity to introduce measures requiring consumer radios to be able to receive digital transmissions. 

WorldDAB points out that Italy was the first country to introduce such a rule for consumer radios along with the French law triggered in December last year, which requires all new consumer radios sold 12 months from now to have DAB+. It added that other markets, including Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are currently considering similar laws.

The Brussels Motor Show runs from Jan 19–27.