The use of the DAB+ standard to disseminate digital radio is of increasing significance in Europe and the Federal Republic of Germany. In order to facilitate the use of DAB+ transmission capacities in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia has prepared an interest-based application with the state government for the assignment of transmission capacities. This was based on the call for interest conducted in the autumn of 2018.
The Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia is interested in ideally using the findings of this survey to guarantee comprehensive and statewide coverage for the public with a diverse range of programmes and programme-related services provided by private radio broadcasters.
What are the next steps for DAB+ in North Rhine-Westphalia?
Based on the determined demand forecast, in March 2019 the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia applied for the assignment of transmission capacities with the state chancellery. Whether the Federal Network Agency can serve this demand depends on the specific needs and especially on the frequency planning options offered by the Geneva 2006 frequency plan. If the Federal Network Agency can satisfy these needs, the corresponding transmission capacities will then be made available to the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. These capacities will be distributed by the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia following the assignment.
The Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia cannot make a definitive statement with regard to the expected network costs because the expenses depend largely on the layout and topographical aspects of the areas to be served and the desired quality and supplies. In addition, the calculation can vary depending on the network operator. The Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia does not foresee assisting in this funding.
The federal states have submitted a DAB+ demand schedule concept for precautionary consideration as part of the Federal Network Agency's frequency planning.
For North Rhine-Westphalia, the DAB+ demand schedule foresees the following for private radio:
- Uniform coverage throughout the state and
- Two alternatives for statewide coverage split up into regions:
- divided into six regions
- divided into five regions
For statewide coverage, depending on the requirements for sound quality and error correction, up to 15 radio channels could be disseminated uniformly statewide. For regional coverage, assignments which vary by region would be conceivable.
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