BRUSSELS�European Government Ministries, car manufacturers and the radio industry gathered in Brussels to push for further adoption of DAB digital radio in the car.
At WorldDAB�sDrive to Digital � Europe�event, government officials from Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands were joined by the French media regulator and senior representatives from the broadcast and automotive industries in calling for a European vision for DAB digital radio.
At the event, it was revealed that 56% of European citizens are now able to receive DAB / DAB+.
Radio broadcasts, with progress most advanced in countries with national DAB coverage � Germany, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark. These seven markets collectively account for 60% of all European new car sales. With France and Belgium now taking their first significant steps in the roll-out of digital radio, established DAB markets are expected to soon account for nearly 80% of new car sales in Europe.
Patrick Hannon, President of WorldDAB,said: �DAB is establishing itself as the core future platform for radio in Europe with DAB services now available to 291 million people across the continent. For motorists, the only way to receive all available free-to-air radio services in Europe is through radios with both analog and DAB/DAB+ capability.
�In the UK 80% of new cars come with DAB radio as standard � with Norway and Switzerland following closely behind. With cross-border travel increasingly common and the first countries setting dates for the switch off of analog services, it�s time for FM / DAB / DAB+ to be fitted as standard across Europe. A clear statement of support from European Institutions would accelerate this process.�
�The UK Government is committed to rolling out DAB digital radio, and Britain is leading the way with around 80% of new cars already featuring DAB. A wider variety of stations and better reception are just some of the benefits of having DAB digital radio and we�d like to see it adopted as widely as possible. Rollout across Europe is an important next step and will require close collaboration between government and industry, which is why events like today�s are so important,�said Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, United Kingdom.
Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio and President of the newly formed European Digital Radio
Alliance, said: �We created the Alliance because we recognize that broadcasters need to work together across Europe to make sure listeners get the best from digital radio technology. Nowhere is that more important than in the motor car where radio is both essential entertainment and a vital source of information for millions of people on the move every day. We want both the car industry and regulators to understand the Alliance�s commitment to making DAB the preferred choice of consumers across the European market.�
Fran�ois-Xavier Bergot, Deputy Head of Radio Directorate, Conseil Sup�rieur de l�Audiovisuel
(CSA), France, said �When the CSA decided on the new schedule for DAB+ rollout, one of its aims was to give perspective to players including the automotive industry, as listening in the car is a key factor for the success of DAB+.�