Belgium making progress in DAB+ launches, plans for future digital switchover

Belgium hosted its annual symposium about DAB+ earlier this month. During the event, Flemish Media Minister Sven Gatz said that the country would pick its date for a switch from FM radio to DAB+ once 50% of the audience was listening to digital radio.

“This includes DAB+, streaming and digital TV audio,” Gatz said. “The government will then set a date for the definitive digital switchover for the national broadcasters.”

DAB+ has been posting solid growth in Flanders. A survey by Ipsos revealed that 21% of the Flanders audience listens to digital radio, including 3% listening on DAB+. Other regions, including Brussels and Wallonia, are also receiving DAB+ network launches for a nine-moth trial period.

“The upgrade to digital radio is historical for us,” said Media Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt. “In doing so we enter the top league of European nations in offering a free and high-quality service to the public. We have cleared financial resources for the transmission-infrastructure of public and private stations. In addition, a new budget will support independent stations in their mutation to DAB+.”

Anna Washenko