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.

 

All new cars soon to have DAB+
18.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
Speaking at the press event held at the Brussels Motor Show, Walloon Minister of Media Jean-Claude Marcourt stated that DAB+ presents numerous advantages, including but not limited to better listening quality and a higher number of radio stations to choose from.

(DH) Read more


All new cars to be equipped with a DAB+ radio receiver within two years
18.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
All new cars in Europe are to be equipped with a radio receiver compatible with DAB+, the digital radio which is due to gradually succeed FM broadcasting. The green light, under the European Electronic Communications Code, was officially given on Friday during the Brussels Motor Show press conference, which brought together several industry leaders to highlight the EU's directive.

(The Brussels Times) Read more


New radio standard DAB+ to replace FM in all new cars
18.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
All new cars in Europe will need to be equipped with a radio receiver compatible with DAB+, which will gradually succeed the FM broadcast. The launch of the European Electronic Communications Code was made official during the press day of the Brussels Motor Show. EU Member States now have two years to transpose this code into their national legislation.

(Tendances) Read more


EU digital radio rules in spotlight at Brussels Motor Show
18.01.2019 - WorldDAB News - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - AUDI AG WorldDAB Member - Belgium Belgium - United Kingdom United Kingdom
Policy makers, broadcasters and car makers are gathered at the Brussels Motor Show on Friday 18 January 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, and EU Member States have two years from this date to transpose the code into national legislation.

(WorldDAB) Read more


Norkring Belgium chooses Paneda as DAB+ system supplier
17.01.2019 - Paneda WorldDAB Member - Belgium Belgium
The Belgium service provider Norkring and Paneda have signed an agreement for DAB+ head end systems. Paneda will provide DAB+ multiplexer systems to Belgium during the next 5 years. At the same time Norkring has ordered a complete system for an upcoming multiplexer.

(Paneda) Read more


Call for tenders launched by CSA in Belgium
15.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
Broadcasters looking to apply for a DAB+ licences have two months to submit their applications to the CSA, which is expected to evaluate the applications and grant relevant broadcasting licences in four months' time. This marks the first time a tender offering frequencies in both digital and analogue radio is launched in Belgium.

(L'Echo) Read more


Belgian public broadcaster RTBF switches to DAB+
14.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
The Walloon public broadcaster has switched from the older DAB standard to DAB+, with the new standard offering a more efficient use of digital capacity and better audio quality. In Flanders, public broadcaster VRT has been broadcasting on DAB+ since October 2017.

(Media Magazine) Read more


RTBF terminates AM broadcasts in light of DAB+ developments
03.01.2019 - Belgium Belgium
The French-speaking public broadcaster RTBF has ceased broadcasting on AM in order to take full advantage of DAB+. Since 1 January, the broadcaster’s programs are available via FM or DAB+ in Wallonia and the Brussels region.

(Radio World) Read more


European Council adopts European Electronic Communications Code
04.12.2018 - Belgium Belgium
The directive will, amongst other things, require all new car radios sold in the EU to include digital terrestrial radio. The legal act is set to be signed on 12 December and published in the EU Official Journal on 17 December. It will enter into force 3 days after publication.

(European Council) Read more


FM to gradually make way for DAB+ in Belgium
20.11.2018 - Belgium Belgium
DAB+, which is set to replace FM across Belgium in coming years, requires less bandwidth to operate, offers an improved sound quality, and generates less electromagnetic radiation.

(autowereld.be) 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)