After a long period of preparation, DAB frequencies are finally being released for local/regional broadcasters. Applying for a permit is possible from March 10, 2020.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs remains fully committed to the original plans for releasing only 22 allotments and has, for the time being, disregarded the many responses received from the market consultation.
Through April 6, interested radio stations can apply for one license per DAB allotment to be distributed. For a public local broadcaster, it must have an appointment from the CvdM for a municipality within an allotment. Effective April 7, commercial license holders may also apply for additional licenses by allotment, if available. Agency Telecom assumes a maximum of 12 licenses per allotment, of which 6 are initially intended for public broadcasting and 6 for commercial license holders. After September 11, 2020, this separation will cease and commercial initiatives may also apply for space in the public section, if available. The application itself is relatively simple, as no technical parameters need to be submitted.
The 22 allotments are each unique in shape and the rules to fill in the areas with ether distribution are strict. To ensure proper DAB distribution, customized solutions per allotment are desired. Broadcast Partners can support the broadcasters that will obtain their license in realizing the optimal content through thorough frequency planning and the supply of professional but affordable broadcasting equipment of proven quality from the brands Itelco (Elenos), Syes, Delta Mechanica and Lambda.
DAB broadcast equipment can be purchased on a purchase, financial lease, operational lease, or a hybrid basis. With operational leasing, the participants in a DAB allotment get the disposal of the entire installation including service, maintenance, transmitter monitoring, (if desired and if available) rental of a high set-up location and energy. Broadcast Partners monitors the installation so that any problems are often detected and resolved before they are noticeable to the listener. This offers high operating reliability at low cost based on clear agreements. The agreements provide every comfort for the uncertain future of DAB+ for local broadcasters, allowing the installation to be easily adjusted should there be a change in program composition, frequency or power, or area adjustment by September 1, 2022. This comfort is necessary, because say it yourself; no one knows what the situation will be like then.
DAB – Multiplexer & Audio encoder
A DAB transmitter can transmit multiple programs simultaneously, each of which is encoded and then merged in a multiplexer to form a DAB+ signal suitable for the transmitter. Broadcast Partners has developed the aXemble DAB+ encoder and multiplexer for this purpose. The aXemble provides a user-friendly interface that allows radio stations to easily configure and manage the DAB services themselves. The aXemble is available as a hardware variant, or as an ‘As a Service’ variant that composes the DAB signal from the cloud, obviously as reliable as an ‘in-house’ multiplexer.
Viktor Alders: “Den Haag FM, like many other radio stations, responded to the market consultation with clear recommendations. The government decided not to do anything with it. Nevertheless, we consider DAB+ an important form of distribution and have decided to apply for a licence. Also, in connection with the necessary cooperation, we have already spoken with other radio stations in the region. We choose the DAB+ solutions of Broadcast Partners and want to start broadcasting from the transmitter tower in The Hague as soon as possible.”
More information about DAB? Contact one of our account managers.