Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Impressive rollout of DAB+ network in France

I recently noticed that a new DAB+ radio network is being rolled out now in France. Broadcasting by radio is seen by many as a thing of the past and here we see a new radio network being installed in one of the largest countries in western Europe.

The traditional FM radios on Band 2 use 87.5 to 108 MHz with one station per frequency. The new DAB+ system uses Band 3 which goes from 174 to 240 MHz and has several stations grouped together on something called a multiplex. This allows for more stations to fit on a given band and more crucially, it allows space for new stations to enter the market.

By October of 2023, the French DAB+ covered the Paris-Lyon-Marseille corridor taking in all major urban areas along this route (shown below in purple).

By the end of March 2024, they hope that 60% of the population as shown above will be able to receive DAB+ radio stations.

As far as I know, no date has been set for any switch off of the 88-108 MHz FM broadcast band and I suspect both will co-exist for quite some time.

1) French DAB network...


Anonymous said...

My experience with dab+ in hilly territory is bad. Where FM still works, dab+ is silent. You will need much more transmitter sites to cover France like with FM. I doubt that this will happen.
Roland DL9NBX

Anonymous said...

That's right, Roland. DAB, DVB and DRM also are too much technically complicated. Anybody can design and make an analog AM or FM receiver with standard components, even with scrapped components, vacuum tubes, etc. But nobody can make a DAB receiver without specialized chips and specialized software, even if these are open source. Nothing can beat the simplicity and low power consumption of something like a experimental regenerative or super-regenerative receiver, you can make it and have it running in less than 1 hour. Try to build something like that for DAB.

Anonymous said...

DAB is a system from the 90, that solves a problem that we had in the 90. Not enough bandwidth for all transmitters. Since 2010, with LTE, the problem is solved. If you look for 1000 different radio stations, you go to the internet.
DAB and dab+ are dead ends. And technically no playgrounds.