As the clock continues to tick down to the 2016 edition of WorldDAB’s General Assembly in Vienna, the organization’s president Patrick Hannon is taking a look back at three of the goals that were set forth at last year’s meeting. Hoping to accelerate DAB adoption, Hannon chose to focus on three areas: international development, DAB in cars, and European support.
A number of countries have made the move to DAB over the last year, including several in the last month, per Hannon. Slovenia began its DAB services recently and Latvia issued a new DAB+ trial start; Belgium is also working toward a “federal” DAB+ launch, with an eye toward 2018. Meanwhile, Norway is at the front of the pack, as it is expected to start switching off FM in less than 90 days,
While new official figures on automotive adoption are expected soon, WorldDAB’s Automotive User Experience Group that was set up earlier this year has had a positive impact, Hannon explains in his statement. In the United Kingdom, 86 percent of new cars now come with DAB as standard, and many other countries are yielding similar results.
European governments are also lending their support for DAB, he highlighted. Germany is making a push that new radio receivers with a display should be required to have both FM and digital capability. Similar regulations are being pushed for in the Netherlands and Italy. Meanwhile in France, a law is already in place that requires receivers to have digital capability once digital radio coverage exceeds 20 percent of the population, which WorldDAB expects to occur next year. WorldDAB is now seeking similar support from the European Commission.
The WorldDAB General Assembly is scheduled to take place from Nov. 9–10 in Vienna.