Ukraine’s National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting has announced that nine radio stations in Kiev are now broadcasting in the country’s first DAB+ tests, which cover the capital and its surrounding areas.
During a press conference held June 19, the council’s Chairman Yuri Artemenko and council member Sergei Kostinsky verified the broadcast quality of the new stations, which use two transmitters operating on channel 7D with a power of 1 kW and 2 kW.
In March, the organization announced that 10 stations had received a DAB+ license after the first round of bids that took place earlier in the year. One of the licenses, which went to the station Perche Digital was canceled however due to an unpaid license fee. The nine stations today available via digital radio include Ukrainian radio, Promin, Culture (part of the country’s public broadcaster), Country FM, Hype Radio, Zemlya, Old Fashioned Radio, Radio Meidan and Radio Maria.
“We believe we have prospects,” said Artemenko. At the same time, he emphasized that receivers still remain an issue. “Now digital radio can be heard primarily in new cars, which are equipped with digital receivers. The rest of the citizens need to purchase a new one or adapt their older receivers to receive the DAB signal.”
Artemenko explained that the council would like to create an association to promote digital radio. “We gathered them [industry professionals] and offered to unite in an association that would promote digital radio. They have a lot of ideas on how to do it, how to popularize digital radio, how to increase the number of transmitters,” he said.
Kostinsky added that while the larger radio groups were initially skeptical about the introduction of digital radio, the second call for applications, which ran from May 17 to June 15, to fill the four remaining places on the multiplex, attracted one of the country’s biggest media groups.
In total, for the second round, the council received five applications. The results of the tender will be announced August 14.