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Germany Outlines Road to DAB+

Two-step approach includes an expansion phase followed by a migration phase

Germany is creating its path to installing a complete DAB+ radio system in the country. In a recent article, Dr. Ulrich Liebenow, operating director at public state (Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt) broadcaster MDR, chair of the technical committee of ARD, a joint organization of Germany’s regional public-service broadcasters, and Deutschlandradio, outlined what that plan would entail.

The German radio industry is currently working on a two-step process on the introduction of DAB+, with the first step being an expansion phase, then followed by migration. During the expansion phase, FM and DAB+ will broadcast simultaneously until a concrete proposal for the eventual shutdown of FM can be put into place.

To perform the shutdown, DAB+ must have 95 percent coverage for public service. ARD and Deutschlandradio are aiming to reach this goal between 2018 and 2020.

Certain criteria still need to be discussed, including the structure of the annual survey that will measure technical coverage.

“Provided that all the market participants agree — and the political will is in place — the chance of a digital future for radio has never been as great as it is today,” said Liebenow.