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+.

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: 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.

 

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.

(CSA) Read more


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.

(Radio.nl) Read more


Norkring improves DAB+ reception in Belgium
18.06.2019 - Norkring, Telenor WorldDAB Member - 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.

(Radio.nl) Read more


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.

(RTBF) Read more


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.

(Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel Belgium) Read more


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.

(Radio.nl) Read more


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.

(Sud Info) Read more


New frequency plan includes DAB+ for local stations
28.02.2019 - Belgium Belgium
In what is considered as an historical evolution in the South Belgian radio landscape, the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel has issued a tender for both FM and DAB+ frequencies. This move reflects the region’s ongoing transition toward digital. The tender was launched Jan 15 and has a deadline of March 16. To facilitate the process, the CSA has organized four information sessions for local stations and one for networks.

(Radio World) Read more


DAB+ population coverage in Belgium to reach 97% in September
13.02.2019 - Belgium Belgium
As part of World Radio Day, CEO of maRadio.be Francis Goffin unveiled the first figures on the deployment of digital radio in Belgium. 95% of the Belgian population is currently covered by DAB+, and it is expected that by September 2019, 97% of the population will be covered.

(La Libre) Read more


EU digital radio rules in spotlight at Brussels Motor Show
20.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
Policy makers, broadcasters and car makers gathered at the ongoing Brussels Motor Show on Friday to raise awareness of new EU rules requiring all new car radios to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio within two years. The European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) entered into force on 20 December 2018. EU Member States have two years from this date to transpose the code into national legislation.

(Asia Radio Today) Read more


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 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)