Belgium

Last update: 05.01.2023 - older versions

In the French-speaking part of Belgium (Walloon region/French Community), legislation has been adopted stating that all receivers need to have a DAB+ receiver, with the exception of low-entry receivers (which do not have a alpha-numeric display). These (low entry without digital display) receivers do not need a DAB+ receiver built in. The text has been adopted by their Government on December 21st and enters into force on January 1st 2023.

 

In Flemish-speaking Belgium (Flanders and Brussels), by decree (Flemish law) of 12/02/2021, a government-proposed text was adopted by the Flemish Parliament stating:

"Art. 209/1. All equipment intended for the reception of FM radio signals from a radio broadcaster intended and sold in Flanders must be able to receive digital radio signals. The obligation stated in the first sentence of this paragraph does not apply to radio equipment used by radio amateurs, smartphones and tablets."

This text entered into force on January 1st 2023. 

 

DAB+ was officially launched in Belgium across Flemish-speaking parts of the country in November 2018, while the official launch of DAB+ in French-speaking Belgium took place in November 2019, following a year of trial broadcasts.

DAB+ population coverage across the country currently stands at 97%, while the number of new cars equipped with DAB+ in the country is 98%, a figure which is expected to reach 100% in 2022.

DAB+ awareness and sales in French-speaking Belgium 

The annual Ipsos DAB+ survey published in February 2022 showed that by end 2021 was 78% of French-speaking Belgian listeners had already heard of DAB+. Sales of DAB+ enabled home receivers grew by 13% in 2021, offsetting sales of analog FM receivers, which fell by 7%. Listening on DAB+ has grown steadily since 2018, with 22% of French-speaking Belgians tuning in.

Last update: 03.12.2018 - older versions

DAB coverage reaches more than 95% of the population across the country’s three principal regions – Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. All motorways and main roads in Belgium are covered with DAB, with mobile coverage standing at approximately 99%.

Nationwide coverage of between one and three layers is achieved by combining the coverage of the different multiplexes on air in Belgium: one regional public multiplex for the Northern, Dutch speaking part (>95% DAB coverage of North population), one regional public multiplex for the Southern, French speaking part (90% DAB/DAB+ outdoor coverage of South population) and one regional commercial multiplex in the Northern part in DAB+ (25% coverage of the North population).

Last update: 03.03.2021 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Please note:

(a)    These web pages are updated regularly to reflect current services on air, however they may not be exactly up to date.

(b)    The logos shown on these pages are for illustrative purposes only – manufacturers and broadcasters are directed here for information on implementing station logos.

RTBF has been DAB+ Slideshow (SLS) since 2014 on their station Classic 21 (Classic rock format),

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 72 54 126
Data services 0 2 2
Total7256128

Last update: 16.02.2022 - older versions

DAB+ is now fitted as standard in new passenger cars in Belgium, and 98% of new vehicles sold in H2 2021 included DAB+, compared to 89% in 2019 (source: Jato Dynamics).

Last update: 16.02.2022 - older versions

The availability of DAB and DAB+ receivers in Belgium continues to grow with a range of devices now on the market, including kitchen radios, handheld and tuners. As more DAB+ services launch, with marketing campaigns to support them, sales are expected to grow significantly across Belgium over the next few years.

In French-speaking Belgium, sales of DAB+ compatible home receivers grew by 13% in 2021, offsetting a 7% fall in sales of analogue FM receivers. On average, 45% of home receivers sold in Belgium in 2021 were DAB+ compatible (source: Gfk, Monitoring of Radio Receiver Sales 2021).

Last update: 10.07.2015 - older versions

RTBF is currently testing three DAB+ simulcast FM stations with additional services such as slideshow in several bit rates, both for RTBF and for commercial or non-profit radio stations licenced by the regulator (CSA).

VRT is currently testing one DAB+ simulcast FM station with additional services such as slideshow in several bit rates.

Last update: 05.01.2023 - older versions

French-speaking Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels)

In the French-speaking part of Belgium (Walloon region/French Community), legislation has been adopted stating that all receivers need to have a DAB+ receiver, with the exception of low-entry receivers (which do not have a alpha-numeric display). These (low entry without digital display) receivers do not need a DAB+ receiver built in. The text has been adopted by their Government on December 21st and enters into force on January 1st 2023.

 

The French-speaking Belgium regulator - the CSA Belgium - announced on 11 April 2019 that it had received 123 applications for DAB+ licences - see the full list of applicants here.

In June 2018, the Parliament of Wallonia-Brussels Federation approved a draft decree to amend audiovisual services in French-speaking Belgium, paving the way for the deployment of DAB+ services in the region.​ DAB+ services went on air on 15 November 2018.

 

Flemish-speaking Belgium (Flanders and Brussels)

By decree (Flemish law) of 12/02/2021, a government-proposed text was adopted by the Flemish Parliament stating:

"Art. 209/1. All equipment intended for the reception of FM radio signals from a radio broadcaster intended and sold in Flanders must be able to receive digital radio signals. The obligation stated in the first sentence of this paragraph does not apply to radio equipment used by radio amateurs, smartphones and tablets."

This text entered into force on January 1st 2023. 

 

The public broadcaster for the Belgian Flemish Community, Vlaamse Radio – en Televisie omroep (VRT), has one DAB multiplex on air since 1997, covering Flanders and Brussels with eight radio stations. The network operator Norkring België operates VRT’s multiplex. As of 12 November 2018, all Flemish national radio stations are available on DAB+.

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In May 2016, the Flemish government approved the concept of automatic renewal of FM licences for the major commercial broadcasters until 2022, alongside an obligation to invest in DAB+. At that time, the government decided that FM shutdown should take place two years after reaching 50% digital listening, with a complete switch-off date still to be decided.

Last update: 24.04.2020 - older versions

DAB+ explained by Digital Radio Belgium (FR)

This two-minute DAB+ promotional video published by Belgium's French-speaking Digital Radio office explains to consumers the various benefits of DAB+, such as improved sound quality and a wider choice of listening, as well as mentioning the EECC directive, which will require new cars across Europe to be compatible with digital radio.

The original video was made by VRT for Digital Radio Vlaanderen.

 

DAB+ - Explainer from DabplusBEfr on Vimeo.

 

DAB+ advertisement published by Digital Radio Flanders

In Flanders, radio is increasingly being listened to digitally. According to Ipsos research comissioned by the Flemish government published in October 2019, 26% of the total listening volume is now digital. The strongest increase was listening on DAB+, up from 3% to 9% year on year. This TV spot launched by www.dabplus.be/nl explains to consumers the benefits of moving from analogue to digital, particularly when listening in the car, with easy tuning and significantly improved sound quality.


TELEVISIE COMMERCIAL DAB+ BELGIË from DAB+ BE on Vimeo.

 

A dedicated digital radio website aiming to promote and inform consumers and broadcasters on DAB and DAB+ was launched in Flanders and Brussels in November 2018 (www.dabplus.be/nl).

Aside from the launch of its website dedicated to DAB, the region of Flanders has been particularly active in terms of marketing activities promoting DAB digital radio across TV, radio and online in the weeks leading to the 2018 holiday season. To that effect, two separate campaigns to raise awareness on DAB+ were set up as part of Digital Radio Week in November and December 2018, which all radio stations broadcasting in DAB+ radio participated in.

 

DAB+ multiplex in East Belgium
25.01.2023 - Belgium Belgium
The planned DAB+ multiplex in the German-speaking Community (DG) in eastern Belgium can start. As a list from the German Federal Network Agency shows, the five transmitter sites for the mux in channel 8A have now been coordinated. According to earlier information, the multiplex will initially go into operation via the two higher-power transmitters in Amel-Wallerode and Raeren-Petergensfeld. If necessary, filler transmitters in Eupen, Steffeshausen and Recht can supplement the network later. It is still open when the mux will start and which programme providers will participate. The two stations of the public Belgian Broadcasting Corporation (BRF) and the private station 100,5 - Das Hitradio are considered to be set.

(SatelliFax) Read more


Local DAB+ pilot projects to be extended for 3 years
17.01.2023 - Belgium Belgium
The general chamber of the Vlaamse Regulator voor de Media (VRM), the independent regulator of the Flemish audiovisual media, decided on 9 January 2023 to extend the local DAB+ pilot projects for a period of 3 years. Also, under certain conditions, a limited number of relay stations will also be allowed. On 1 February 2022, a local DAB+ pilot project started in each of the 5 Flemish provinces for a period of 1 year. 59 local radio broadcasters participated in these pilot projects, which is half of the Flemish local radio sector. The first year of local DAB+ broadcasting provided useful insights into how DAB+ broadcasting is realised in a semi-provincial transmission area, what coverage is achieved for it and how cooperation takes place within the pilot projects.

(Vlaamse Regulator voor de Media (VRM)) Read more


Media Minister Benjamin Dalle: "I am convinced that the future of radio is exclusively digital"
16.01.2023 - Belgium Belgium
Radio, one of the oldest mass media, is still alive and kicking, Media Minister Benjamin Dalle (CD&V) told Business AM Radio. Yet the medium is not standing still. "I am convinced that the future of radio is exclusively digital," he echoed. In the news: More and more radio stations are choosing to go fully digital. Still, it will be some time before the obsolete FM technology is completely abandoned, Dalle thinks. In the coming years, more and more people will listen digitally. According to the minister, this will be a combination of internet and DAB+.

(Business AM) Read more


Local DAB+ pilot projects to be extended for three years
16.01.2023 - Belgium Belgium
The local DAB+ pilot projects will be extended for a period of three years. This was decided by the Flemish Media Regulator, the independent regulator of the Flemish audiovisual media. In addition, under certain conditions, a limited number of relay stations will also be allowed. Flemish Media Minister Benjamin Dalle met with local radio stations to give them the news. The first year of local DAB+ broadcasting provided useful insights into how DAB+ broadcasting is realised in a semi-provincial transmission area, what coverage is achieved for it and how cooperation takes place within the pilot projects.

(Benjamin Dalle) Read more


Flanders: Business AM launched via DAB+
09.01.2023 - Belgium Belgium
Business AM started broadcasting today. The radio station can be heard in Flanders via DAB+ and worldwide via the Internet. "Business AM brings Talk Radio for the digital content seeker. We extract relevant news and insights from today's complex international business environment and bring local and global stories that touch people and influence our society. We are there for progressive professionals, entrepreneurs and creatives, among others. This target group will find specific content related to our 4 pillars of technology, economy, politics and business", Peter Van Oostende, Chief Radio Editor, explained earlier.

(Mediamagazine) Read more


Belgium halts retail sales of analogue radio receivers without DAB+
02.01.2023 - Belgium Belgium
Following the European Union’s obligation in 2020 to include DAB+ receivers in new cars, Belgium decided to stop all sales of analogue radio receivers without DAB+ as from 1 January 2023. As from Jan. 1 consumers are no longer able to purchase from a shop FM or AM receivers without DAB+ for domestic use. “The obligation to incorporate DAB+ for new cars and domestic radio receivers is a nice step ahead in the digitisation of our radio landscape,” commented Benjamin Dalle, Flemish Media Minister.

(RedTech) Read more


RadioVisie's this was 2022: the DAB+ report
31.12.2022 - Belgium Belgium
As many as 1,135 radio products were added on DAB+ in Europe and beyond by 2022, currently bringing the total to 7,238 'digital audio services'. This is the fastest growth DAB+ has ever recorded. 2021 was also already a record year with 'only' 800 new radio channels on the digital airwaves. On a national level in Flanders, last year saw the arrival of Crooze, TOPversuzRadio and Willy ClassX, but the launch on 9 January of Business AM, the very first talk radio ever for Flanders, is most eagerly awaited.

(RadioVisie) Read more


Business AM launches Flemish radio station with business news
09.12.2022 - Belgium Belgium
On 9 January, Business AM launches the first Flemish radio station with business news, to be heard daily via DAB+ and online. "Business AM brings Talk Radio for the digital content seeker. We extract relevant news and insights from today's complex international business environment and bring local and global stories that touch people and influence our society. We are there for progressive professionals, entrepreneurs and creatives, among others. This target group will find specific content related to our 4 pillars of technology, economy, politics and business", explains Peter Van Oostende, Chief Radio Editor.

(Business AM) Read more


Tomorrowland One World Radio now also on DAB+ in German-speaking Switzerland
08.12.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland - Belgium Belgium
Belgium's Tomorrowland One World Radio is slowly but surely continuing its international conquest. New since this month is a major DAB+ 'deal' for German-speaking Switzerland, which means the radio service can now be listened to across almost all of Switzerland via digital airwaves. The latest jewel in the crown, since 1 December, is a licence for German-speaking Switzerland through Zurich-based My105 DJ Radio from Giuseppe Scaglione (founder and managing director) and Paola Libera (co-owner and marketing manager).

(RadioVisie.eu) Read more


Flanders: Willy Class X launched on DAB+
07.12.2022 - Belgium Belgium
Digital alternative radio station "Willy" in Flanders has a little brother on DAB+. Since Tuesday, "Willy Class X" has been added to the line-up. Willy Class X takes the place of Joe Lage Landen, which recently stopped broadcasting. On Willy Class X, 'non-stop rock classics' can be heard 24 hours a day. The playlist includes Skunk Anansie, Blondie, Lou Reed, Manic Street Preachers, Pearl Jam and Depeche Mode. As such, the station compares well with Arrow Classic Rock or K-Rock in the Netherlands. Willy Class X can be found on the DAB+ Flanders 2 network on channels 5A and 5D. Reception is also possible in large parts of the southern Netherlands.

(RadioWereld) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 11.0 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 97%
Services: 126 DAB+, 2 Data
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 1,310,951 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 98%
Total Sales (cumulative): 2,157,827 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 21%
Last update: 16.02.2022

Useful Links

Belgian Broadcasting (BRF)
www.digitalradio.be
www.digitalradio.vlaanderen/
www.norkring.be/
Radio Télévision belge de la Communauté française de Belgique (RTBF)
De Vlaamse Radio – en Televisie omroep (VRT)