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MMD’s DAB+ Multiplex With a View

The site serves the French Riviera from a tower originally installed for Télé-Monte-Carlo in 1954

Olivier Cordier from Kiss FM West Coast shared these fantastic photos of the Monaco Média Diffusion transmission site on Mont Agel. This same site was originally built for Télé-Monte-Carlo, but it now hosts the MMD DAB+ multiplex the station operates on.

Kiss FM West Coast, along with a dozen other stations, uses the multiplex to broadcast to the French Riviera. The transmitter actually sits in French territory, but it operates on a frequency allocated to the Principality of Monaco.

The self-supporting metal structure for the antenna is original from the 1950s, even though the DAB multiplex, the second established by MMD, launched in 2016. The site is a complex RF environment with FM and digital television broadcasts, along with DAB+.

For the multiplex, MMD installed two Kathrein Broadcast panels in front of an existing tower, along with a Selecom multiplexer. Since then, two additional multiplexers were added to expand the DAB offerings.

An oddity of the old tower is that it has an adjustable mechanical tilt once used to direct the TMC television signals. The mechanism is no longer usable, but the pylon remains tilted a few degrees downward. MMD had to install suitable antenna supports to compensate for the orientation.

“Monaco Média Diffusion’s equipment allows good DAB+ reception from the Italian border to Esterel thanks to an effective radiated power of 10 kW,” wrote Cordier. “We use four two-dipole panels towards Nice and two two-dipole panels oriented towards Monaco and Menton.”

The other stations on the multiplex are Fréquence Mistral, Hope Radio, Melody in Paris, Metropolys Riviera, MyZen Radio, NetRadio, Radio J, Radio Orient, RCF Nice Côte d’Azur,Sud Radio, Tech Radio, and Yellow Radio.

Cordier noted that while the station broadcasts across the French Riviera, one advantage of using a Monegasque frequency is that the stations need not follow French quotes for francophone music. “The law does not apply, which leaves each radio station great freedom regarding musical programming,” he wrote.

Looking up at the Mont Agel tower
A look inside at the multiplexer and transmitter


Guillaume Asso and Olivier Cordier stand with transmission equipment.
Guillaume Asso, left, is Chef d’équipe Monaco for MMD. Olivier Cordier, right, is with Kiss FM West Coast.

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