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Ukraine to Begin Testing DAB+

Pilot project for 2018–2019 with a broadcast license to be issued for seven years

The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine has announced a DAB+ digital radio pilot project in 2018 and 2019 with the broadcasting license to be issued for seven years.

The new multiplex will feature 14 radio stations, which will be made up of five national radio stations and nine regional and local stations. Kiev-based transmission provider Concern Radio Communications and Television (RRT) will manage the pilot project.

“An experiment with the introduction of digital radio in Kiev is the regulator’s response to the active development of the radio industry and, at the same time, the catastrophic lack of the radio frequency resource used for analog broadcasting,” said Sergey Kostinskij, Ukraine Council member. “We have no other way than to give a chance to new technologies.”

There are about 38 analog stations in Kiev today, and officials say that with the introduction of digital radio, it will be possible to provide an equivalent choice of radio broadcasts using only two to six transmitters.

Kostinskij pointed out that benefits of this digital introduction include a significant increase in the choice of programs available, comprising niche and regional content.

During the first stage of the trials from January to June 2018, two transmitters of 1 kW and 2 kW respectively are being installed in Kiev. The first digital broadcasts will subsequently begin in the second half of the year.

In 2019, the regulator says a transmitter in Brovary, located about 20 kilometers outside Kiev, will be installed to boost coverage on the other side of the Dnieper river.