South Africa - Current situation - History

29.01.2014

The Joint SADIBA/NAB Digital Radio DAB+ Trial Working group's application for a high–powered DAB+ trial licence has been approved. The trial licence was granted to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (the applicant on behalf of the NAB radio members) by the regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). The trial will run from the 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015, and Sentech will be the signal distributor for the duration of the trial.

The SADIBA/NAB Working group is encouraged by the commitment of all stakeholders in putting digital radio firmly on the South African broadcasting agenda.

The South African DAB+ trial will consist of two high power transmitting stations (10kw transmitter power) 100kw ERP situated in Johannesburg and Pretoria in the province of Gauteng. The trial will operate as a SFN in VHF band III on Channel 13F on a frequency of 239.200MHz. This will happen after coverage verification at transmitter powers of 2kw, 5kw, and 10kw. The total area covered by the trial is 21185km2 and the total gross population covered is 10 705 387 (21.5% of total SA population). It is envisaged that between 18 and 20 radio from the Public, Commercial and Community sectors will participate in the trial. The trial will allow the testing of:

  • End-to-end technical functionality
  • Extent of portable mobile coverage
  • Signal permeability
  • Demonstrate digital radio services and value-added services
  • Performance in the field using typical consumer equipment and professional test and measurement equipment.
  • The effects of vehicle penetration loss, building penetration loss and clutter (e.g. buildings and vegetation) on coverage.
  • Testing of the various encoding methods (stereo, para stereo, mono) for different audio types and at different bit rates to get a good understanding of what bit rates/encoding to use for the different program types.
  • Investigate the delivery of PAD within these tests, synchronisation with the audio and rate of change of the images.  

In July 2013 over 200 radio industry representatives came together at the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) facility in Johannesburg to attend a landmark workshop on the rollout of DAB+ digital radio and to discuss plans for a high-powered DAB+ trial transmission extending from Pretoria to Johannesburg by end 2013. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), indicated that it stands ready to support broadcasting innovation in South Africa, which will be the first country to exploit opportunities for delivery of educational services via DAB+, as well as services for those with disabilities. Broadcasting radio via DAB+ will also allow ICASA to license new entrants where FM bandwidth is congested.

MobileTV PTY performed technical tests of DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) and DAB+ in Gauteng from August 2011 until the end of July 2013 and plans to expand trials in South Africa. The prospective broadcaster will launch trials of DMB technology in the Free State and the Western Cape before the end of the 2013. In July 2012 they applied for a commercial license and expect to get an answer during 2013. ICASA has granted test licences for Cape and Bloemfontein, while assessing new applications for Port Eliazbeth, East London and Mpumalanga. MobileTV PTY aims to switch on the trials in Cape Town and Bloemfontein on 1 October and 1 November respectively. Their two transmitters will be relocated from Pretoria and Johannesburg Autumn 2013.

MobileTV PTY ran two TV channels and one radio station on a test license. If a license is granted they would then cover 15-20 million of the 45 million people in South Africa and expand coverage in parallel to sales of devices and uptake of services. MobileTV PTY has teamed up with SABC, the public service broadcaster in South Africa. SABC reaches 76% of the population daily and is by far the biggest broadcaster and is partially financed by a TV license and partially by advertisements. MobileTV PTY is in dialogue with the Department of Education to evaluate whether the technology can be used for educational purposes, such as to reach rural schools and colleges in a cost effective manner. The Department is primarily interested in the abilities of data transfer but an educational TV channel has not been ruled out. SABC will offer their 18 radio channels. MobileTV PTY wishes to also offer distribution for private radio stations following the launch.

Currently no programmes are on air. Mobile TV PTY is awaiting a commercial license from the government. If licences are granted they will within the first year cover up to 50% of the population of South Africa, although they aim to increase this to between 80 and 90% within 2-3 years. Their plan is to broadcast 6-10 mobile TV channels and two radio stations. Additional services that combine broadcasting and the internet on the same device will be an essential part of their business model. Such services include traffic information, gambling, integration with social media and touch-screen shopping.

25.10.2013

In July 2013 over 200 radio industry representatives came together at the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) facility in Johannesburg to attend a landmark workshop on the rollout of DAB+ digital radio and to discuss plans for a high-powered DAB+ trial transmission extending from Pretoria to Johannesburg by end 2013. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), indicated that it stands ready to support broadcasting innovation in South Africa, which will be the first country to exploit opportunities for delivery of educational services via DAB+, as well as services for those with disabilities. Broadcasting radio via DAB+ will also allow ICASA to license new entrants where FM bandwidth is congested.

MobileTV PTY performed technical tests of DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) and DAB+ in Gauteng from August 2011 until the end of July 2013 and plans to expand trials in South Africa. The prospective broadcaster will launch trials of DMB technology in the Free State and the Western Cape before the end of the 2013. In July 2012 they applied for a commercial license and expect to get an answer during 2013. ICASA has granted test licences for Cape and Bloemfontein, while assessing new applications for Port Eliazbeth, East London and Mpumalanga. MobileTV PTY aims to switch on the trials in Cape Town and Bloemfontein on 1 October and 1 November respectively. Their two transmitters will be relocated from Pretoria and Johannesburg Autumn 2013.

MobileTV PTY ran two TV channels and one radio station on a test license. If a license is granted they would then cover 15-20 million of the 45 million people in South Africa and expand coverage in parallel to sales of devices and uptake of services. MobileTV PTY has teamed up with SABC, the public service broadcaster in South Africa. SABC reaches 76% of the population daily and is by far the biggest broadcaster and is partially financed by a TV license and partially by advertisements. MobileTV PTY is in dialogue with the Department of Education to evaluate whether the technology can be used for educational purposes, such as to reach rural schools and colleges in a cost effective manner. The Department is primarily interested in the abilities of data transfer but an educational TV channel has not been ruled out. SABC will offer their 18 radio channels. MobileTV PTY wishes to also offer distribution for private radio stations following the launch.

Currently no programmes are on air. Mobile TV PTY is awaiting a commercial license from the government. If licences are granted they will within the first year cover up to 50% of the population of South Africa, although they aim to increase this to between 80 and 90% within 2-3 years. Their plan is to broadcast 6-10 mobile TV channels and two radio stations. Additional services that combine broadcasting and the internet on the same device will be an essential part of their business model. Such services include traffic information, gambling, integration with social media and touch-screen shopping.

02.10.2013

In July 2013 over 200 radio industry representatives came together at the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) facility in Johannesburg to attend a landmark workshop on the rollout of DAB+ digital radio and to discuss plans for a high-powered DAB+ trial transmission extending from Pretoria to Johannesburg by end 2013. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), indicated that it stands ready to support broadcasting innovation in South Africa, which will be the first country to exploit
opportunities for delivery of educational services via DAB+, as well as services for those with disabilities. Broadcasting radio via DAB+ will also allow ICASA to license new entrants where FM bandwidth is congested.

MobileTV PTY performed technical tests of DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) and DAB+ in Gauteng from August 2011 until the end of July 2013 and plans to expand trials in South Africa. The prospective broadcaster will launch trials of DMB technology in the Free State and the Western Cape before the end of the 2013. In July 2012 they applied for a commercial license and expect to get an answer during 2013. ICASA has granted test licences for Cape and Bloemfontein, while assessing new applications for Port Eliazbeth, East London and Mpumalanga. MobileTV PTY aims to switch on the trials in Cape Town and Bloemfontein on 1 October and 1 November respectively. Their two transmitters will be relocated from Pretoria and Johannesburg Autumn 2013. 

MobileTV PTY ran two TV channels and one radio station on a test license. If a license is granted they would then cover 15-20 million of the 45 million people in South Africa and expand coverage in parallel to sales of devices and uptake of services. MobileTV PTY has teamed up with SABC, the public service broadcaster in South Africa. SABC reaches 76% of the population daily and is by far the biggest broadcaster and is partially financed by a TV license and partially by advertisements. MobileTV PTY is in dialogue with the Department of Education to evaluate whether the technology can be used for educational purposes, such as to reach rural schools and colleges in a cost effective manner. The Department is primarily interested in the abilities of data transfer but an educational TV channel has not been ruled out. SABC will offer their 18 radio channels. MobileTV PTY wishes to also offer distribution for private radio stations following the launch.

Currently no programmes are on air. Mobile TV PTY is awaiting a commercial license from the government. If licences are granted they will within the first year cover up to 50% of the population of South Africa, although they aim to increase this to between 80 and 90% within 2-3 years. Their plan is to broadcast 6-10 mobile TV channels and two radio stations. Additional services that combine broadcasting and the internet on the same device will be an essential part of their business model. Such services include traffic information, gambling, integration with social media and touch-screen shopping.