DAB +: the discreet digital revolution of radio

Radio is undergoing a silent revolution, a real evolution of which the general public has not yet taken the full measure: digital terrestrial radio, or DAB (for Digital Audio Broadcasting).

Unlike digital terrestrial television (TNT) which had brought new free television channels with better quality and had benefited from a major communication campaign, DAB – which improved in 2007 to become DAB + – is remained unrecognized.

However, DAB + has continued to develop since its launch in France in 2007. But its adoption remains very slow, in particular because new radios are needed to be able to receive it. In July 2018, a study showed that only 8% of French households were equipped with stations capable of receiving DAB +. To accelerate the adoption of the new standard, all receivers sold since December 21, 2019 must be able to receive DAB +, and since December 20, 2020, in accordance with the new European code of electronic communications, all new vehicles must be equipped.

Listening comfort in the car or at home

“Today, digital radio is already a reality for 30% of the metropolitan population and DAB + receivers are present in all new private vehicles sold in France”, explains Roch-Olivier Maistre, president of the Superior Council of the audiovisual (CSA), which this week launched a new stage. On October 12, 25 national radios (19 private radios and 6 public radios, FIP, France Culture, France Info, France Inter, France Musique, Mouv ‘) were launched in DAB + in Paris, Lyon and Marseille and in the main agglomerations of this axis.

“These radios will be able to be listened to without interruption throughout this road trip. In the coming weeks and months, there will be 465 radios available on DAB + which will then cover nearly 40% of the population. Its deployment will continue and intensify in the coming months ”, continues the president of the CSA, specifying that 26 new agglomerations will welcome digital terrestrial radio within a year.

The deployment map

The deployment map

For listeners, DAB + brings real listening comfort with digital sound, without breath and without interference. No need to search for the right frequency, just click on the name of the radio station, the radio screen also providing information such as the musical title, the program, the host, etc.

By 2022, 50% of the population in metropolitan France will be able to receive DAB + which does not know the limitations of the FM band and therefore allows more stations.
Philippe Rioux