Digital radio reception to improve in major cities

20 November 2013

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Free to air digital radio reception in current blackspots is set to improve with the switch on of 12 commercial radio industry-funded DAB+ On Channel Repeaters (OCR) in metropolitan radio licence areas.  The localised transmitters, which are scheduled to be switched on over the coming months, will boost digital radio coverage in dense urban areas, as well as extending coverage in geographically challenging environments and at the boundaries of the licence areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
The OCR solution has been trialled successfully in the Melbourne CBD and has resulted in significant enhancement of in-building reception of digital radio services in central Melbourne.
The Melbourne CBD is the first of 12 commercial radio repeater sites that have been licensed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for transmission. Repeaters in Bacchus Marsh and Fishermen’s Bend will further service the Victorian capital.

In Sydney, sites include Collaroy, Newport, Winmalee, Mt Badgelly, Redfern and in the Sydney CBD. Mt Mee will host a transmitter to service Brisbane’s northwest, while Perth’s DAB+ coverage will be boosted by repeaters in the Perth CBD and Minderie. There is no current need for repeaters in Adelaide as the existing digital radio transmitter is located at Mt Lofty and provides very good coverage.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer, Joan Warner said: “Australia has the most powerful DAB+ digital radio signal in the world and the repeaters will ensure more radio listeners across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth can experience the benefits of digital radio.

Listening figures show that more than 1.6 million people or nearly 13% of the population across the five state capitals listen via a DAB+ device each week. Time Spent Listening (TSL) to radio on a DAB+ digital radio device is more than double that of TSL to radio online.

The eleven Australian vehicle manufacturers that include DAB+ digital radio as standard or an option in selected vehicles will also benefit from the improved coverage. These include Ford, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Audi, Hino, Fuso and Isuzu Trucks.

Media contact: Melissa Fleming – 0417 499 529