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Ofcom Reports on DAB Coverage Planning

Though not a final report it offers feasibility studies for DAB transition

U.K. broadcast regulator Ofcom recently published a report on an approach to DAB coverage planning.

The report is a technical feasibility study produced as part of the Coverage and Spectrum Planning work set out in the Digital Radio Action Plan (DRAP), published in 2010. The purpose of DRAP is “to provide the information to allow for a well-informed decision by Government on whether to proceed with a radio switchover.”

According to the Community Media Association, a nonprofit community media activist group, the Ofcom report outlines the approach and results of this planning exercise.

It comprises: The definition of geographical areas, based on the editorial coverage areas of existing FM radio services, within which FM coverage would be replicated as far as practicable with DAB coverage; the technical planning parameters used to predict acceptable levels of FM and DAB coverage for indoor portable and in-vehicle radio receivers; the extent of existing FM coverage within each editorial area, for both indoor portable radio reception and in-vehicle radio reception on major roads and DAB transmitter network scenarios illustrating how increasing levels of DAB coverage can be achieved using increasing numbers of transmitters, replicating as far as practicable FM coverage within each editorial area.

The association also points out that the DAB network scenarios set out in this Ofcom report do not constitute a definitive or final view on what the post-switchover DAB network should be, but seek to illustrate the technical feasibility of matching DAB and FM coverage. It therefore does not represent a regulatory decision by Ofcom.

The full report can be found here.