News      |      Events

Italian regulator allows DAB+ digital radio into Italy

In a historic move, Italy’s regulator approved the regulation to allow the commercial launch of DAB+ digital radio services for the first time.

Following wide industry consultation Italian radio broadcasters, public and commercial companies worked together to set regulation that would allow the radio sector to move to digital adding benefits for both broadcasters and listeners.

The regulation will allow broadcasters across Italy to migrate their services from analogue to digital offering listener’s new content and multi-media services. Listeners will also have access to a growing number of exciting new DAB+ receivers from manufacturers.

The Italian regulation said that DAB+ digital radio will be launched in Band III. It provides regulation on coverage, networks for national services, spectrum allocation for services, local coverage and rules on simulcasting and new content. The regulation will be put into effect from January 2010 and digital radio development will move forward from here.

“Digital radio is the future. The Italian industry and the regulator are making a strong statement that radio is important. A well-designed regulatory framework will give this developing market the stability to roll out efficiently and keep the industry competitive within the highly dynamic media world. We urge other markets considering going digital to adopt this approach,” President of WorldDMB Jørn Jensen said.

Digital radio is currently commercially available in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The symbolic launch of the digital radio took place in Paris recently with the launch of 60 services using DMB radio. Ireland, Hungary and Sweden are also in a phase where clear regulation guidelines are needed to accelerate the adoption of digital radio on the DAB, DAB+ and DMB.