Wednesday, October 3, 2018

South Africa to consider using 54-68 MHz for digital broadcasting??

There was a news item on the Southgate Amateur Radio News website today titled "South Africa considers Band I DRM+ broadcasting".

The news item went on to say that..."South Africa may be opening the door to DRM+ Broadcasting in low-band VHF 54-68 MHz ".

However, if you read of the material in more depth then it looks as if the South African government are exploring ways of replacing analogue FM radio with digital versions.

The directive says: "In the Very High Frequency (VHF) bands I & II, the standard Digital Radio Mondiale Plus (DRM +) is considered to be a candidate standard that can co-locate and co-exist with existing frequency modulation (FM) analogue technologies.

In the VHF band Ill, the standards Digital Audio Broadcasting Plus (DAB +), Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T -DMB) and Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting for Terrestrial Sound Broadcasting (ISDB -TSB) are considered candidate technologies for the introduction of DSB in the band after the Analogue Switch -Off (ASO) of terrestrial analogue television services

ACKNOWLEDGING that the licensing approach in VHF Band Ill can be commenced as soon as possible as there is already an ITU co- ordinated DSB radio frequency allocation of 16 MHz (214 -230 MHz) incorporated in the National Radio Frequency Plan (NRFP), 2013 as may be amended from time to time. The ICASA Terrestrial Broadcasting Frequency Plan is an allotment plan that provides for two (2) multiplexes for each of the nine provinces;"

Comment..... It looks as if the DAB+ option on 214-230 MHz is much more likely. Other countries are using it and that will make receivers cheaper.

If South Africa went down the road of DRM+ on 54-68 MHz then it's likely that radios would be more expensive. It would also close off the possibility of a small allocation for radio amateurs at 60 MHz.

Something to be watched but unlikely.

1) PDF

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