SA to trial digital radio: report

Technology & Convergence

South African radio broadcasters are set to start trialing digital radio channels using the DAB+ standard, the Sunday Times reported.

The Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) standard has been in use since the 1990s, and its successor, DAB+, was introduced in 2007. The formats are digital successors to the AM and FM standards.

Industry players (including ICASA) have been in discussions on how the formats were introduced in other markets and how best to approach its introduction here, the report said.Radio stations that want to participate in the trial will be provided a free DAB+ signal from state-owned signal distributor, Sentech.

Alongside DAB+, South African broadcasters will also be trialling the Digital Radio Mondiale technology, which will ultimately replace medium-wave broadcasts, the report said.

The trials are expected to begin in Gauteng in 2014, though TV broadcasters will likely still be using the spectrum set aside for DAB+ when the trial ends, the paper reported.