Italy - Current situation - History
Following a successful DMB trial, RAIWAY, the public broadcaster, has indicated that the operator in Italy wants to use DMB for mobile TV instead of using DVB-H. This is due to the significantly lower network costs and the lack of frequency for DVB-H. The recent emergence of DAB+ has also helped paved the way for DAB based services in the country. It is expected that DAB+ will be rolled out throughout Italy by the end 2008. On July 25th 2007 Club DAB Italia launched the first DAB+ trials in Italy, broadcasting five audio channels. Vatican Radio has also recently announced the start of a DAB trial in the Pope’s State from 1st June 2007.
In Italy there is currently one public and three commercial multiplexes active, which are operated by Club DAB Italia, EuroDAB and C.R. DAB. The public broadcaster RAI, has also built a DAB network and plan to roll out DAB based services in mid 2007. Since the late 1990s RAS has broadcast on two Band III networks in the South Tyrol region.
RAIWAY and the consortiums of private broadcasters have come together to solve the problems faced by Italy in relation to frequency, audio codecs and receivers. The emergence of DAB+ has also helped move the situation forward as it allows for more radio channels using the same amount of frequency. DAB+ will be rolled out throughout Italy by the end of summer 2007. The consortiums will also be increasing the number of transmitters and gap fillers to boost indoor and outdoor reception this year.
Recently, following a successful DMB trial, RAIWAY indicated that the operator in Italy wants to use DMB for mobile TV instead of DVB-H, due to the significantly lower network costs and the lack of frequency for DVB-H. RAIWAY will therefore extend coverage in 2007, re-activating a number of old DAB sites. Also the slow roll-out of DVB-H has had a negative financial effect on some Italian mobile operators. In recent press it was stated that DMB network coverage of Italy would cost around €8 million while a DVB-H network coverage of the country would cost around €300 million.
RAIWAY and the commercial operators will run a joint test in Rome using RAIWAY's transmission site and block 6A in Band III (for a minimum of 1 year), in order to offer a good range of programmes in Rome and to prepare for a commercial launch.
In the summer of 2007 two new transmitters were activated, one in Biella (which covers the area between Milan and Turin) and one trial transmission extending coverage in Milan.
On 25th July 2007 Club DAB Italia also launched the first DAB+ trials in Italy, broadcasting five audio channels and one test channel on the Consortium's multiplex.