Kenya - Current situation - History
On 8 November 2022, the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the broadcasting regulator, published a public consulation on a draft Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) framework.
The CA said: "A responsive framework will ensure the efficient use of the available broadcasting spectrum and encourage investment in the broadcasting sub-sector. Sound broadcasting in Kenya has predominantly been provided through by FM radio platforms, but gradual congestion and spectrum scarcity limits ability to introduce additional services in all major broadcasting areas. The framework provides a roadmap for broadcasters to develop new content and signal distributors to distribute the services on Digital Sound broadcasting platforms."
In social media posts, the CA noted that: "There are nearly 200 licensed services including public, commercial and community FM broadcasters in Kenya. Most operate using analogue FM in VHF Band II (87.5 - 108 MHz). Frequency allocations for FM are close to saturation in major markets with over 2,200 pending applications. Development of Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) presents an opportunity both to accommodate new services and to future proof existing services."
Among the key recommendations in the draft Framework are adoption of the DAB+ standard as the priority for DSB development and formulation of a roadmap and timetable for the roll-out of DAB from a trial phase to regular services; and launch of a DAB trial in Greater Nairobi with transmitters in Limuru and Machakos to test and demonstrate coverage, reception quality, data services and SFN performance.
The closing date for responses is 28th November 2022.
The notice of consultation and the draft Digital Sound Broadcasting Framework document are available on the Communications Authority of Kenya website.