Belgium

Last update: 14-11-2019 - older versions

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.

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.

More than 840.000 DAB+ devices have already been sold in Belgium as consumers' interest in DAB+ digital radio continues to grow, while 39% of new cars now come factory-fitted with DAB+.

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+.

DSO

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.

DAB+ in the spotlight at European Motor Show
10.01.2020 - Belgium - Belgium
In light of the EU's new regulation mandating digital radio in new cars across Europe, DAB+ is set to take centre stage at the European Motor Show taking place in Brussels, Belgium, between 10-19 January 2020.
From La Lettre Pro:

Belgium holds national digital radio week
17.12.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The second edition of Digital Radio Week took place on 4–8 November, hosting a number of events and special broadcasts. The now nationwide gathering is designed to promote and inform Belgians about the benefits of DAB+, and digital radio.
From Radio World:

New appointments at Maradio.be
28.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
Following the successful launch of regular DAB+ services in French-speaking Belgium earlier this month, Maradio.be has appointed Eric Adelbrecht as new managing director, and Francis Goffin as president, effective as of 20 November 2019.
From Maradio.be:

Belgium unites in driving DAB+ forward
28.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
Addressing the audience at the WorldDAB General Assembly held in Brussels earlier this month, the CEOs of the French and Dutch-language public broadcasters - respectively RTBF and VRT - came together to encourage the growth of digital radio.
From Radio World:

DAB+ takes off in French-speaking Belgium
27.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
As part of the launch of the DAB+ digital radio in French-speaking Belgium at the start of November, RTBF was granted permission to operate MUX 1 and MUX 2, for a total of 24 stations broadcasting on DAB+.

DAB+ development continues throughout Europe
20.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
The development of DAB+ digital radio was highlighted at the WorldDAB General Assembly, where topics of discussion included the launch of DAB+ digital radio in Tunisia, the launch of national DAB+ in France, and Switzerland's upcoming digital switchover.
From La Lettre Pro:

DPG reaches new audiences with new DAB+ station launch
19.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
Commenting on the reasons behind DPG Media's launch of a digital-only station, music director Kevin Moens stated that DAB+ digital radio presented an opportunity to do something novel and reach new audiences on the Flemish radio scene, particularly as DAB+ tripled its penetration in the Belgian region.
From Radio World:

DAB+ increasingly popular in Flanders, Belgium
11.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
DAB+ radio listening time in Dutch-speaking Belgium has tripled - going from 3% to 9% - compared to last year, while digital listening in the region makes up 26% of total listening time. What's more, more than 16% of Flemish people already have a DAB+ device, while 12% want to buy one.
From VRT:

Late DAB+ adopters benefit from experience and move faster
07.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
Countries that have approached the DAB+ digital radio standard as late adopters are deploying their networks at a much faster pace than early-riser nations, reports show. Speakers at the WorldDAB general assembly, which took place in Brussels last week, confirmed this fact.
From Radio World:

DAB+ officially launches in French-speaking Belgium
04.11.2019 - Belgium - Belgium
DAB+ has officially launched in French-speaking parts of Belgium, including the capital Brussels. A ceremony celebrating the launch of regular services was held at the offices of the CSA, the French-speaking regulator in Belgium.
From dabplus.be:

Select Country:

Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 11.0 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 97%
Services: 16 DAB, 12 DAB+, 2 Data
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 39%
Total Sales (cumulative): 840,000 devices
Last update: 16.12.2019

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)