Belgium

Last update: 29-01-2019 - older versions

DAB+ was officially launched in Belgium across both French and Flemish-speaking parts of the country in November 2018, as part of Digital Radio Week.

DAB+ population coverage across the country currently stands at 95%, while the number of new cars equipped with DAB+ in the country is 30%, a figure which is expected to grow significantly following the European Parliament’s vote to adopt a directive requiring all new cars sold in the European Union to be equipped with digital radio receivers.

The number of regional DAB+ stations in the country, and the number of receiver devices sold, accounting for 33 and 500,000+ respectively, is also expected to increase in coming years as interest in DAB+ in Belgium continues to grow.

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: 02-06-2016 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

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 12 4 16
DAB+ programmes 11 1 12
Data services 0 2 2
Total23730

Last update: 29-01-2019 - older versions

The number of new cars equipped with DAB+ technology in Belgium currently stands at approximately 30%. However, this figure is expected to grow significantly following the European Parliament’s approval of the directive requiring all new cars sold in the European Union to be equipped with digital radio receivers, which took place in November 2018.

The next steps for the Directive are: first, formal approval by the Council and, second, publication in the Official Journal of the European Union – at which point the Directive enters into force. Both these steps are expected to be completed in early 2019, after which, these rules will need to be transposed into national legislation within two years, thus requiring all new car radios for sale or rent within the EU to comply with the Directive.

Last update: 03-12-2018 - 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, the government, public and private broadcasters are supportive of EU receiver regulation.

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: 18-04-2019 - older versions

French-speaking Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels)

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)

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: 03-12-2018 - older versions

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.

German-speaking DAB+ stations BRF1 and BRF2 go live in french-speaking Belgium
10.09.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
Belgischer Rundfunk (BRF), the public-service broadcasting organisation serving the German-speaking community of Belgium, has announced the launch of two of its stations in french-speaking parts of Belgium. BRF1 and BRF2 are now available to DAB+ listeners in the Belgian regions of Liège, Namur, Luxembourg, Brabant and Brussels.
From La Lettre Pro:

Belgium’s Wallonia-Brussels federation redefines radio landscape
05.08.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
CSA’s decision to redefine the Wallonia-Brussels federation radio landscape for a nine-year term marks an important step toward digital radio development. The inclusion of independent radio stations makes DAB+ offerings in the French speaking part of the country one of the richest and most diverse in Europe. With 141 DAB+ licenses still available for local and independent broadcasters, the CSA plans to organize a new frequency round, which will allow more independent stations to go on air.
From Radio World:

Local radio in Belgium boosted by DAB+
24.07.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The local radio landscape in Wallonia-Brussels Federation is to be enriched by the launch of new a DAB+ community radio network. The broadcaster RCF has announced it has obtained a frequency on the new DAB+ community network to be launched in autumn 2019 covering all of the region.
From www.lalettre.pro:

CSA publishes list of French-speaking DAB+ stations for Brussels and Wallonia
18.07.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The French-speaker regulator in Belgium, CSA, has published the full list of French-speaking DAB+ stations that will be broadcasting in Brussels and the rest of the French-speaking part of Belgium. 17 DAB+ stations are already available to listeners in Wallonia, but almost 100 DAB+ stations are expected to broadcast on DAB+ in coming months.
From CSA:

Qmusic launches first interactive station on DAB+ in Flanders, Belgium
01.07.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
Qmusic has officially launched the very first interactive radio channel on DAB+ in French-speaking Belgium. Using the Qmusic app, listeners can vote for the next song to be played on the DAB+ station.
From Radio.nl:

Norkring improves DAB+ reception in Belgium
WorldDAB Members News - 18.06.2019 - Norkring, Telenor - Belgium - Belgium
Transmitter operator Norkring has improved the reception of the two commercial DAB+ networks in northeastern Flanders, Belgium. A total of 21 radio stations can now be received on the two commercial DAB + networks.
From Radio.nl:

RTBF radio back on DAB+ in Flanders, Belgium
01.05.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
On 2 May 2019, RTBF launched RTBF Mix, a new radio station that combines different RTBF programs and stations - including La Première, Classic 21 and VivaCité - into one single station broadcast on DAB+ across the French-speaking region of Belgium.
From RTBF:

French-speaking Belgium regulator receives 126 applications for DAB+ licences
11.04.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The list of applicants has been published on the CSA website. The CSA will now assess the applications based on their feasibility and contribution to the diversity of the radio landscape and will publish its decision by no later than 16 July 2019.
From Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel Belgium:

Call for tenders leads to over 130 applications in French-speaking Belgium
26.03.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The CSA's call for application which closed on 16 March marked the first time the Walloon regulator issued a call for tenders for both DAB+ and FM frequencies.
From Radio.nl:

Test Achats demands longer transition period for digital switchover in Belgium
21.03.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The Belgian non-profit organisation has suggested a ten-year transition period for the completion of the digital switchover, in order not to render FM receivers - which are still being sold - unusable.
From Sud Info:

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 11.0 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 95%
Services: 16 DAB, 12 DAB+, 2 Data
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 337,044 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 30%
Total Sales (cumulative): 540,000 devices
Last update: 23.11.2018

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)