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RTBF Terminates AM Broadcasts

The broadcaster began reducing its medium-wave service in May

Culminating its scheme to phase out medium-wave transmissions, French-language public broadcaster RTBF ceased broadcasting on AM at the end of December.

In May RTBF reduced daily AM service from 19 hours to 14 hours with the intention of transitioning to DAB+. Since Jan. 1, the broadcaster’s programs, which include “VivaCité” and “La Première” are available via FM or DAB+ in Wallonia and the Brussels region.

RTBF said in a statement it chose to stop broadcasting via AM to take full advantage of DAB+ developments.

[Related: RTBF Phases Out AM Broadcasts]

“Most major radio stations broadcasting in AM have decided to discontinue this old technology. This has been the case for some time now with our neighbors VRT and Radio France as well as for the English medium-wave transmitter of BBC World Service, which was discontinued a few years ago. It must be said these transmitters that operate in this old analog technology are extremely energy-hungry and DAB+ is much less so. Another advantage: DAB+ requires fewer antennas and generates less magnetic radiation than FM and AM.”

[Related: DAB Gains Ground in Belgium]

In mid-November, public, private and independent radio operators officially launched the final deployment of DAB+ digital terrestrial radio in Brussels and Wallonia.