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Protection of spectrum dedicated to broadcast radio is essential

Digital radio is fast becoming the core future platform for free-to-air radio in many parts of the world. Radio broadcasters anticipated these developments and ensured that sufficient spectrum in Band III was allocated to digital radio. It is essential that this allocation is retained.

In a growing number of countries, mainly in Europe and Asia, Band III is used to accommodate DAB / DAB+ digital radio services. As a result, it would be impractical to move free-to-air DTT services out of bands IV and V into band III (due to growing demands for this spectrum from mobile services).

The radio industry has already given up any claim to L Band spectrum. However, the international development of DAB / DAB+ means this is not a feasible option for Band III.

Norway and Switzerland have already planned for Digital Switchover (DSO) between 2017 and 2024 which means that band III will become the most important sound broadcasting band in those countries.

Germany, Netherlands, UK, Denmark and Italy are taking steps to follow suit. Other markets taking early steps include Poland, France, Belgium, Czech Republic and Austria. Outside Europe, DAB+ in band III is well established in Australia, and a growing number of markets are embarking on trials, including South Africa, the Gulf States and Thailand.