KUWAIT—On Feb. 18, the Kuwaiti Minister of Information, Mohmmad Al-Jabri, inaugurated a new DAB+ mux transmission from Al-Metlaa, north of Kuwait City. He indicated to Kuwait Television the planning of the new service began two years earlier, according to kuna.net.kw.
In Tamenfoust, Algeria, the pilot station Télédiffusion d’Algérie (TDA) entered service, broadcasting with a DAB+ mux, on the occasion of World Radio Day. This operation is the first of its kind in Algeria.
TDA will broadcast, on an experimental basis, four programs, in the center and east of the capital, with coverage of 68% of the population. The ERP of the transmission is 600 W, according to radioalgerie.dz.
Nearly a year ago TDA started experiments on its medium wave band, using DRM. “The standard DRM…is the digital version of the AM radio,” says the TDA in the same article. “Thus, these two standards…DAB + and DRM will eventually replace the FM and AM broadcasting modes respectively… [the] DAB + standard is currently used on several continents, covering 500 million…Last year, 60 million digital receivers were sold worldwide, and an adapted radio set must be used.”
In New Zealand, Scott Bartlett, the chief executive of the state-owned media organization, Kordia, noted that DAB had “taken off” overseas and it would cost less than $10 million for New Zealand to set up a transmission network. Kordia has been running DAB trials in Auckland and Wellington since 2006 but so far the radio industry has not developed a business case for a nationwide roll-out, according to stuff.co.nz. Bartlett said the technology was “clearly proven” and more cars were coming into New Zealand with digital radios installed as standard equipment.
“We have seen DAB in the UK and Australia take off since 2010. If you look at the UK, half of all radio listening is now on digital platforms with DAB having by far the lion’s share of that,” said Bartlett, quoted in the same article. “Kordia is ready to invest. We are willing to put some money down on the table to bring these services to market if there is a consensus that it is the smart thing to do.” Kordia was seeing interest from community groups, overseas organizations and different ethnic groups, he said.
The country’s two top commercial broadcasters did not rush to respond to Bartlett’s call for a debate on DAB. NZME, which owns about half the country’s commercial radio stations, deferred comment to the Radio Broadcasters Association. NZME radio competitor MediaWorks has not so far responded to a request for comment.