After 10 years since Australia’s commercial radio broadcasters invested in DBA+, CEO Commercial Radio Australia and Vice President, Joan Warner excitedly shares the reasons why Australia’s commercial radio broadcasters embraced Digital Audio Broadcasting early on.

Warner says, “DBA+ is key to keeping radio a competitive force”. DBA+ produces enhanced sound, better onscreen info as well as an initiative user experience allowing audiences to have more personalised services and interactivity.

Warner states that it is now more cheaply to invest in DBA+ now that it was 10 years ago, adding, “if we had to invest now, we would do it differently”. Even so, she still beams with pride on how they have led the radio industry into evolving into broader entertainment brands with vast benefits.

In contrast, South African radio broadcasters are still at a snail-pace on this digital migration as the communications regulator; ICASA only issued a DBA+ trial licence to the National Association of Broadcasters (the NAB) and Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) only in 2017/last year.

On the 25th of June, Minister of Communications, Nomvula Mokonyane released the Broadcasting Policy Review and Digital Migration document stating that the report based on the successful trails conducted by Sentech and other industry players concludes that the South African broadcasting market is fertile for the introduction of digital radio.

Minister Mokonyane also noted that DBA+ is “critical given the congestion of the FM frequencies in regional markets such as Gauteng”.  Further stating that an introduction of digital radio will allow industry growth and increase diversity within the industry.

The Department of Communications is expected to issue policy directive to allow ICASA to initiate a licencing framework for Digital radio in South Africa.

Bulali Dyakopu

(Edited by Simbarashe Honde)