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

Adopted code requires that all new car radios in the EU are capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio

The European Parliament has voted to adopt the European Electronic Communications Code, which requires that all new car radios in the European Union are able to receive digital terrestrial radio. This obligation, explains WorldDAB, is in addition to any FM or AM functionality manufacturers may wish to include.

Subsequent steps for the Directive — expected to be completed in early 2019 — are formal approval by the Council, followed by publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, at which point the Directive enters into force.

The rules will then be transposed (within two years) into national legislation, obliging all new car radios for sale or rent within the EU to comply with the Directive.

[Read: Belgium’s Roxx Begins Broadcasting on DAB]

In addition, the Directive formalizes EU consent for Member States introducing rules that require consumer receivers to be able to receive digital transmissions. WorldDAB says this is consistent with a law already introduced in Italy requiring all new radios to have digital capability from Jan. 1 2020. France is expected to trigger a similar law once DAB+ coverage exceeds 20 percent of the population.

“The inclusion of digital terrestrial radio in the European Electronic Communications Code is a critical milestone for digital radio in Europe,” said Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB.

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“It is clear evidence that DAB+ is seen, at a pan-European level, as the core future platform for radio. The Code will provide a strong impulse to the adoption of DAB+ in cars across the EU – and will apply equally to Member States with established DAB markets and those in the earlier stages of development. For consumer devices, this Directive provides a green light to any Member State considering requiring receivers to have digital capability.”

Read the full text of the European Electronic Communications Code here.