Belgium

Last update: 12.02.2020 - 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 39%, 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.

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: 08.10.2020 - older versions

The number of new cars equipped with DAB+ technology in Belgium currently stands at approximately 59%.

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: 08.10.2020 - older versions

Cumulative DAB receiver sales in Belgium stand at 1,253,000 (from 2013 onwards - including automotive receivers).

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: 16.04.2020 - 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: 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.

 

RTBF to operate two DAB+ multiplexes in Belgium
29.10.2019 - Belgium Belgium
According to the latest frequency plan, the Belgian regulator CSA, has authorised public broadcaster RTBF to operate two DAB+ digital radio multiplexes. The multiplexes will be operated by RTBF for a period of nine years, starting from 1 November 2019.

(RTBF) Read more


DAB+ progress in the spotlight at WorldDAB General Assembly
24.10.2019 - WorldDAB News - Belgium Belgium
The last 12 months have been an exciting period for DAB digital radio in Europe and beyond. As Brussels prepares to host the annual WorldDAB General Assembly, WorldDAB president Patrick Hannon touches on some of the most significant updates of the past year and the topics that will be covered over the two-day event.

(Radio World) Read more


WorldDAB General Assembly 2019
14.10.2019 - Belgium Belgium
The WorldDAB General Assembly will take place at the Brussels Square Convention Centre on 5 and 6 November. Over 200 stakeholders, industry leaders and public and commercial broadcasters are expected to attend the annual event as the radio industry in Europe continues its path to digitisation.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


Telenet will start switching off analogue signal next year
09.10.2019 - Belgium Belgium
Belgian cable operator Telenet said it will start switching off the analogue radio and television signal from mid-2020. The signal for analogue radio via cable will be stopped in phases, from 10 February 2020.

(Telecompaper) Read more


DPG launches new digital-only station in Belgium
04.10.2019 - Belgium Belgium
DPG Media has announced that it will be launching Willy, a new digital-only rock station, in Belgium on 11 October. The station will be available to DAB+ listeners as well as online. DPG Media is a Belgian publishing company that owns media assets in Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

(dpgmedia.be) Read more


RTBF launches new DAB+ stations in Belgium
25.09.2019 - maRadio.be WorldDAB Member - Belgium Belgium
RTBF, the public broadcaster for the French-speaking community of Belgium, has announced the launch of two new DAB+ stations for French-speaking Belgium - Jam and Viva+. This brings the total number of RTBF DAB+ stations in the country to eight.

(RTBF) Read more


DAB+ offering grows in French-speaking Belgium
16.09.2019 - Belgium Belgium
The rising popularity of DAB+ in French-speaking Belgium is reflected in the growing number of stations launching on DAB+. Six new stations are launching on DAB+ in September, bringing the total number of stations available on DAB+ in the region to 22. More stations are expected to launch in coming months.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


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.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


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.

(Radio World) Read more


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.

(www.lalettre.pro) Read more


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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 59%
Total Sales (cumulative): 1,253,000 devices
Last update: 08.10.2020

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)