South Africa

Last update: 09-04-2019 - older versions

South African regulator endorses transition to digital radio

ICASA published in April 2019 the findings of its inquiry into the deployment of digital radio in South Africa, stating that spectrum scarcity and high transmission costs necessitate the consideration of digital radio. ICASA will develop draft regulation on implementation during the current financial year (2019/20).

In 2018, the Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) Council Committee was formed, the purpose of which is to make progress towards expanding regulatory scope for digital sound broadcasting technologies, and accommodating additional sound broadcasters in conventional and other frequency bands.  As part of the enquiry the DSB committee conducted international study visits to Australia, Germany, Norway, USA and United Kingdom.

Johannesburg / Pretoria trial renewed

The National Association of Broadcasters (the NAB) and Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) are currently engaged in a DAB+ trial in the Gauteng province (Johannesburg and Pretoria) and a new greenfield DAB+ trial for Cape Town. 

In January 2019, it was announced that the Johannesburg / Pretoria South African DAB+ trial had been granted a new license. The license, renewed as of 30 January 2019, is valid for a period of eight months, with the possibility of a six-month extension.

Last update: 18-08-2015 - older versions

The DAB+ trial covers the Province of Gauteng. Please see terrestrial coverage map here.

Last update: 28-06-2018 - older versions

In this country there is

on air.

The DAB+ trial is temporarily off air while the process for applying for a new trial license is ongoing.

The DAB+ trial will consist of 1 mux broadcasting 20 X stereo channels using various bit rates in the province of Gauteng. All of the participants use slide show and other PAD services like SLS. Five slideshows are dynamically generated. Participation is not limited to Gauteng based broadcasters thereby allowing broadcasters from other provinces to trial. One third of the mux is reserved exclusively for community broadcasters. In total there will be 20 DAB+ services on air, 19 DAB+ programmes will run simulcast on AM/FM and one will be exclusive to digital.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 19 1 20

Last update: 28-06-2018 - older versions

The Joint SADIBA/NAB Digital Radio DAB+ trial Working Group is currently meeting on a regular basis with members from the automobile manufactures to encourage their participation by providing a number of vehicles fitted with OEM DAB+ receivers.  BMW South Africa has participated extensively in the Trial.

Many new imported automobiles imported into South Africa have DAB+ receivers fitted (Lexus, Toyota, Ford). Ford SA activates all DAB+ receivers in automobiles sold in South Africa.

Last update: 28-06-2018 - older versions

As South Africa is currently in trial status, DAB+ receivers are not officially currently available in the market place although some models have found their way into retail stores

Last update: 09-04-2019 - older versions

On the 29th  January 2019 the South African Broadcast Regulator ICASA granted a new eight month DAB+ trial licence which will provide coverage in Johannesburg/Pretoria Gauteng Province.  20 radio services drawn from the PBS, Commercial and Community Radio sectors will participate in the trial. On air date is planned mid-March 2019.

Phase 1 of the initial trial license period focused on network verification processes and this has now been completed. The 2nd phase which focused on audio and data testing has been completed. The new license phase focuses on closed listener group tests and further audio processing and data testing. The public broadcaster the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) applied for this new trial license on behalf of all the other radio broadcasters. South Africa is the first country in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to carry out DAB+ trials.

The trial consists of two high power transmitting stations (10kw transmitter power) 100kw ERP situated in Johannesburg and Pretoria in the province of Gauteng. The trial operates as a SFN in VHF band III on Channel 13F on a frequency of 239.200MHz. Coverage verification at transmitter powers of 2kw, 5kw, and 10kw has been concluded. Extensive testing of vertical polarisation versus horizontal is currently underway.  The total area covered by the trial is 21185 km2 and the total gross population covered is 10 705 387 (21.5% of total SA population).

 

Last update: 09-04-2019 - older versions

ICASA published in April 2019 the findings of its inquiry into the deployment of digital radio in South Africa, stating that spectrum scarcity and high transmission costs necessitate the consideration of digital radio. ICASA will develop draft regulation on implementation during the current financial year (2019/20).

DAB was adopted as a South African standard by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) in 2005.

ICASA published a draft Terrestrial Broadcasting Frequency Plan 2013. In this document’s Annexure D “DAB Frequency Allotments,” the regulatory authority lays out plans to make room in the broadcast spectrum for digital audio broadcasting (DAB). It appears to have allotted 18 slots for DAB in Band III as the country begins the transition.

 

Last update: 13-04-2018 - older versions

Emergency Warning Systems form part of the DAB+ trial parameters.

Radio Days Africa in Johannesburg on 3-6 July
26.06.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
The opening day of Radio Days Africa on 3 July will be dedicated to DAB+. Organised in Johannesburg, Radio Days Africa hosts more than 300 delegates each year with 60 speakers from across the continent and around the world.
From La Lettre Pro:

South African government to issue directive to create digital radio licensing framework
25.06.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
Following the successful trials in South Africa of digital radio broadcasting technologies including DAB+, communications minister Nomvula Mokonyane she will issue a policy directive to the regulator, ICASA, in the next few weeks to pave the way for the development of a licensing framework.
From TechCentral:

DAB+ high on the agenda at Radio Days Africa
WorldDAB Members News - 07.06.2018 - Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA) - United Kingdom - United Kingdom - South Africa - South Africa
On the opening day of the conference, WorldDAB, in partnership with SADIBA, SENTECH and the University of the Witwatersrand, will be hosting a dedicated DAB+ seminar. With South Africa’s ongoing DAB+ trial about to be extended, and the regulator soliciting industry responses to its consultation paper on implementing digital radio, there is strong interest in moving to digital and the opportunities that DAB+ enables.
From WorldDAB:

South African regulator ICASA initiates digital radio discussion paper
23.04.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
The South African broadcast regulator ICASA has published a discussion paper containing information on digital audio broadcasting services in the country. ICASA expects written proposals from all interested parties on the discussion paper.
From Mediasat:

Russia plans DAB+ deployment, while South Africa to survey interest in digital radio
20.04.2018 - Russian Federation - Russian Federation - South Africa - South Africa
The Russian Commission presented a report on the possibility of working in Russia on DAB+ networks. It was decided that DAB+ technology could be used, pending certain conditions and availability of frequencies and changes in regulation. In South Africa, communications authority ICASA plans to conduct a survey to launch terrestrial digital radio in South Africa.
From La Lettre Pro:

New Volkswagen Tiguain AllSpace
18.04.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
All three trim levels have a generous list of standard equipment that includes climate control, parking sensors and 18-inch alloy wheels, plus VW’s Discover Navigation infotainment system with DAB and Bluetooth connectivity.
From Citizen South Africa:

South Africa on path to DAB+ radio
16.04.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
South Africa is making new moves to implement digital radio services, after regulator ICASA published a discussion document on the subject, giving the public until early June to comment. "The overall summary of findings indicated the DAB+ trial achieved a large portion of the total scope of the trial. The DAB+ technology proved to be easy to implement, in that it is power and spectrum efficient," ICASA said during a testing phase for DAB+ in November 2013.
From ITWeb:

Icasa publishes discussion document on digital sound broadcasting services
16.04.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
A new discussion document published by the South African communication authority Icasa, gives notice of their intention to conduct an inquiry on implementing a digital radio broadcasting service in South Africa. Interested parties are invited to make written representations within 45 working days.
From Bizcommunity.com:

Icasa takes first step to commercial digital radio in SA
13.04.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
Communications regulator Icasa has taken the first step to possibly introducing DAB+ radio in South Africa. The authority has published a discussion document on digital sound broadcasting services to solicit feedback from the industry. Parties interested in commenting on the discussion document must make representations with 45 days.
From Moneyweb.co.za:

Icasa takes first step to commercial digital radio in South Africa
13.04.2018 - South Africa - South Africa
Councillor Dimakatso Qocha said digital radio could help improve spectrum efficiency and management, and offer more choice for consumers.
From TechCentral:

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Key Information

Status: trial and/or regulation
Population: 53.0 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 21.5%
Services: 20 DAB+
Last update: 28.06.2018

Useful Links

Telecommunications & Postal Services Republic of South Africa Policy Review Reports 2015
The National Association of Broadcasters of South Africa
SADIBA - Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association
Sentech - State-owned network operator in South Africa
Telecommunications & Postal Services Republic of South Africe
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa - Regulator