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What is DAB+ radio?

todayMarch 3, 2020 2195

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South Africa is currently trialling DAB+ which means you can listen to Magic 828 in crystal clarity if you are within range of the test signal.

The Cape Town trials are to the delight of many owners of cars fitted with DAB+ receivers or have portable DAB+ radios.


Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is a digital radio standard for broadcasting digital audio used in many countries around the world. The DAB standard was initiated as a European research project in the 1980s with The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) launching the first DAB channel in the world on 1 June 1995

DAB is generally more efficient than FM radio in its use of spectrum and thus can offer more radio services for the same given bandwidth. As DAB transmits digital audio, there is no hiss with a weak signal, which can happen on FM or AM radio.

If you own a DAB+ radio or drive a car with a DAB+ radio you will be able to listen to the Magic 828 trial. Simply search through the preset channels. It’s that easy!

Let’s Get Technical: 

DAB+ is an enhanced DAB with MPEG 4 AAC+ (advanced audio coding) and equal error protection added as additional features.
DAB+ can accommodate three times as many channels per DAB+ multiplex (MUX)
The DAB+ technology is an alternative or a supplementary technology to relieve congestion in the current FM band. DAB+ also offers more channels and reduces adjacent channel interference.

There are many benefits the DAB+ technology offers; including:
– Good quality service because of AAC with quality not directly related to the RF signal in the planned coverage area.
– It is very cost-effective as up to 24 different stations can be accommodated on one multiplex, requiring only one transmitter for each planned coverage area.
– Enhanced user experience as DAB+ offers additional functionality such as electronic programme guide, news feeds and images.
– Single-frequency network allows more efficient use of limited spectrum with more transmitters at different locations providing larger coverage on the same frequency.
– Capable to operate in simulcast mode broadcasting analogue and digital simultaneously which could assist during analogue to digital migration.
– Includes hand-over capabilities between different radio platforms such as DAB+ and FM and vice versa.

Written by: Sean Loots

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