Wednesday, January 30, 2013

France: Terrestrial digital radio will be launched by the end of 2013

The CSA has issued permits for Paris, Marseille and Nice.

Terrestrial digital radio (DAB) will become a reality in Paris, Nice and Marseille before the end of the year. A few days before leaving the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA), Rachid Arhab, which manages the record since his arrival in early 2007, has managed to get in plenary issuing permits for 106 projects selected in the three cities. The editors of the stations concerned have two months to build multiplexes operating companies responsible for the distribution, and the first programs will be launched in the autumn. "We went through our approach. We made ​​a call for applications, selections, and we have issued authorizations, "says Rachid Arhab.

A difficult birth

Nothing has been easy for the launch of the RNT, Arles real time. The four main private groups ( Lagardère Active, RTL, NRJ and NextRadioTV) have never hidden their opposition to the project and did not participate in the call for applications last year. They blame the RNT weakness of its economic model, especially given the double distribution costs that will be incurred, and prefer the radio over the Internet. Government, either the current or previous has not supported either by refusing to preempt frequencies for the two public operators, and RFI Radio France.
The start of the RNT in Paris, Marseille and Nice will allow many groups to their arrival in radio or strengthen their presence. For example Goom Radio, editor of B2B Internet radio, the radio version of the news channel EuroNews, Trace Group, publisher of several channels, or variations of existing radio stations on the FM band: Hearsay Collector , FG Chic ... Face saturation of the FM band, and these networks will see their coverage. Equivalent to the radio digital terrestrial television, the RNT must also meet high inequality in the coverage territory. If the offer is bloated FM in Paris, with almost 60 stations, it does not hold true in the rest of France. A Aubenas in Ardeche, are counted as 15. Some areas are even deserted. According to the CSA, 30% of French people have access to less than 10 radio stations on the FM band.
The CSA has also established a new timetable for the deployment of the RNT in other French cities. He stopped in spring 2012 included the launch of new calls for proposals for a phased rollout until April 2013, but none was made. The question is whether Olivier Schrameck, the new president of the CSA, and the new advisor in charge of the case, so far unknown, have the will to continue the deployment. The question of the standard must be definitively settled, with validation by the European Commission for the adoption of DAB+.
(Source: Gregory Poussielgue, Les Echos) (Translate by Google Translator)

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