Australia - Details of Trials - History

11.04.2017

Canberra, Darwin and Hobart will be the next in line for permanent DAB+ digital radio services. Commercial broadcasters are working closely with the ABC and SBS on the regional rollout plans. Digital radio was launched in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in 2009. Commercial broadcasters Capital Radio and Canberra FM have been running trial digital radio services in Canberra for some years and Grant Broadcasters has also been on air in Darwin on a trial basis.

Commercial broadcasters are working with public broadcasters on coordinating launch dates, with permanent digital radio services in Canberra and Darwin expected to start in 2017 and Hobart in 2018.

The radio industry is committed to a digital broadcast future via DAB+ combined with and complemented by online. This is especially important in terms of spectrum efficiency and operational costs. CRA will continue to discuss financial support with the Federal Government for DAB+ rollout into regions as was provided to the television industry for its digital switchover. As the major electronic mediums, radio and television must receive equal treatment from the Government to ensure optimum services in regional Australia and more diversity and choice for regional Australians.

13.08.2015

Low powered regional trials are currently on air in Canberra and Darwin and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) extended the trials to continue for another year, until 30 June 2016. The trials in Canberra and Darwin demonstrate the industry’s commitment to regional roll out and provide ongoing research which will inform the cost modelling and coverage planning for regional centres. The scientific licences have been extended to provide an opportunity for broadcasters to experiment with new features and functionality on DAB+, as well as continue testing a range of planning techniques and equipment types. The Canberra trial is showing that broadcaster collaboration on a single shared multiplex offers a cost effective model.

The DAB+ trial signal in both Canberra and Darwin is at low power but ongoing tests have indicated coverage at low power has been able to extend to a large part of the Canberra and Darwin areas.  A boost was required to retransmit the trial signal into Parliament House and this has provided additional testing opportunities for “in building” coverage in a challenging structure. The trial services continue to be subject to occasional interruptions and changes in power for ongoing technical testing.

15.10.2014

Low powered regional trials are currently on air in Canberra and Darwin and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) extended the trials to continue for another year, until 30 June 2015. The trials in Canberra and Darwin demonstrate the industry’s commitment to regional roll out and provide ongoing research which will inform the cost modelling and coverage planning for regional centres. The scientific licences have been extended to provide an opportunity for broadcasters to experiment with new features and functionality on DAB+, as well as continue testing a range of planning techniques and equipment types. The Canberra trial is showing that broadcaster collaboration on a single shared multiplex offers a cost effective model.

The DAB+ trial signal in both Canberra and Darwin is at low power but ongoing tests have indicated coverage at low power has been able to extend to a large part of the Canberra and Darwin areas.  A boost was required to retransmit the trial signal into Parliament House and this has provided additional testing opportunities for “in building” coverage in a challenging structure. The trial services continue to be subject to occasional interruptions and changes in power for ongoing technical testing.