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Media Broadcast Outlines DAB Offer

35 transmitters to be online by September 2011; 172 by 2021

German transmission-services provider Media Broadcast, part of the TDF Group, is outlining its offer of nationwide Eureka-147-based services and is inviting radio stations and program producers to apply for allocations. Applications are being accepted through 12 March.

The company is making available a downloadable booklet[PDF] outlining the technology and implementation plans, as well as the costs of DAB transmission.

With its new national multiplex, Media Broadcast can offer a mix of Eureka-147 standards — DAB, DAB+ and T-DMB — supporting different bitrates and varying customer needs, as well as helping make the network future-proof.

The new network operates on VHF Channels 5A and 5C, with a small portion of the northeast using Channel 11B. Operating within the Channel 5 block is expected to provide greater coverage density more cost-effectively compared to current DAB services in the VHF Channel 12 block.

Media Broadcast is required to roll out at least 35 transmission sites by September 2011 with a final minimum of 110 sites by year-end 2015. By 2021, Media Broadcast projects to have 172 transmitters in place across Germany.

Costs are quoted in CU, a unit of bandwidth where 1 CU is approximately equivalent to a user data rate of 1.3 kbps. Each multiplex can offer a total of 864 CU, with about 56 CU being considered sufficient for a DAB+ audio program and associated data.

Costs rise from €1,042 per CU on 16 transmitters in the fourth quarter of 2010 to €21,412 per CU on 90 transmitters in 2015. By 2021 the cost per CU are projected as €35,648 on 172 transmitters. All prices are exclusive of VAT. Minimum contract terms are for 10 years.