Belgium - Regulation and Spectrum - History

18.04.2019

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.

03.12.2018

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 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.

French-speaking Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels)

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+ was eventually launched in the region 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 +.

24.07.2018
Frequency agreement between French and Flemish communities

In July 2018 The Flemish Government approved a cooperation agreement between the French and the Walloon Communities on the use of digital frequencies for DAB+ on each other's territory. Commercial broadcasters for DAB+ will also be able to use the Waver and Vloesberg locations and the French Community will be able to broadcast public and private broadcasters from Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.

Broadcasting Legislation in Belgium

Broadcasting legislation in Belgium differs between the Flemish, French and German speaking communities. Licences will be granted to programme providers in the French and German communities. Licences in the Flemish community are granted to the multiplex operator. Simulcasting is allowed for the public services within the three Dutch, French and Flemish communities and there are no specific rules or conditions governing this. There is no specific legislation governing advertising, sponsorship and marketing on DAB digital radio broadcasting.

In Belgium, DAB(+) rollout is currently considered only to be broadcast in VHF Band III. Currently there are between one and three layers in operation in Band III (made of two regional multiplexes – for the Dutch and one for the French/German speaking parts of the country - and one commercial regional Flemish multiplex covering Brussels and surroundings. In future an extension of the commercial regional Flemish multiplex towards a community wide layer and a second regional French speaking layer, itself made of four provincial multiplexes, covering Brussels and Wallonia, are foreseen.