Germany has decided to launch nationwide radio stations via DAB+, the de facto standard for digital broadcasting of radio and mobile TV. An agreement between various commercial radio stations and the network company Media Broadcast GmbH that will build and operate the network was signed today. The commercial broadcasters are:
Die Neue Welle Rundfunk-Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Entspannungsradio GmbH i.G.
ERF Medien e.V.
Radio 97,1 MHz Hamburg GmbH (ENERGY)
REGIOCAST DIGITAL GmbH
Public broadcaster Deutschlandradio has also signed. In addition, all the regional public service broadcasters will broadcast their regional radio stations on DAB+. Other stations may join before the service goes on air.
I am proud to announce that we have signed the agreements with MEDIA BROACAST concerning DAB+, says Helmut G. Bauer who has been representing the commercial broadcasters in the negotiations in an email.
The radio stations are expected to go on air in September 2011. Germany will then have their first nationwide radio network in 65 years. Germany has over 81 million inhabitants and the decision will positively influence the market of DMB, DAB and DAB+ receivers as well as interactive services. This is very good news for broadcasters, but also for consumers. They will get access to more radio, and possibly mobile TV in the future. DMB, DAB and DAB+ will reach around 300 million people in 40 countries around the world by the end of 2011. Those countries include Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Vietnam, Malaysia, Korea, Qatar, South Africa and Australia. Some critics say that broadcasting of radio is no longer needed, as webradio will take over. This is however not at all true, as described in my earlier blog post: Why the Internet Won’t Solve Everything. German radio industry agrees on digital radio deal. Digitalradio DAB+: Einigung in letzter Minute.