Belgium

Last update: 03-12-2018 - older versions

DAB+ was officially launched in Belgium across both French and Flemish-speaking parts of the country in November 2018, as part of Digital Radio Week.

DAB+ coverage across the country currently stands at 95%, while the number of new cars equipped with DAB+ in the country is 30%, 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.

The number of regional DAB+ stations in the country, and the number of receiver devices sold, accounting for 33 and 500,000+ respectively, is also expected to increase in coming years as interest in DAB+ in Belgium 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: 03-12-2018 - older versions

The number of new cars equipped with DAB+ technology in the Belgium currently stands at approximately 30%. However, 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: 03-12-2018 - older versions

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: 03-12-2018 - older versions

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 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.

French-speaking Belgium (Wallonia and Brussels)

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+ was eventually launched in the region 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 +.

Last update: 03-12-2018 - older versions

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.

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.
From European Council:

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.
From autowereld.be:

Milestone for DAB+ in the car as EU adopts new digital radio directive
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
The European Parliament this week adopted a new communications directive requiring all new cars sold in the EU to be equipped with digital radio receivers. The decision, which is driven by an industry trend away from the prevailing FM standard toward digital radio, is expected to be formally embraced in early 2019. DAB+, the most common standard for digital radio, can be transmitted more cost effectively than FM signals and is seen as more reliable than internet radio in the car.
From Automotive IT :

Technical tests initiated ahead of full-scale deployment of DAB in Belgium
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
The purpose of the tests is to ensure that the required technical structure is in place to enable the seamless migration to DAB+ for all Belgian radio stations.There are currently 16 radio stations available in DAB + in Wallonia and Brussels, but this number is expected to rise to around 30 in the next year.
From dhnet.be:

DAB+ offers more room for broadcasters and advertisers, and a better listening experience for consumers
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
Following the launch of DAB+ in French-speaking Belgium earlier this week, experts have their say on the numerous advantages presented by the technology, including the availability of more stations, an improved listening experience and more broadcasting space for broadcasters and advertisers alike.
From RTBF:

EU agrees digital radio must be in new cars
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
The European Parliament this week adopted a new communications directive requiring all new cars sold in the EU to be equipped with digital radio receivers. The decision, which is driven by an industry trend away from the prevailing FM standard toward digital radio, is expected to be formally embraced in early 2019. DAB+, the most common standard for digital radio, can be transmitted more cost effectively than FM signals and is seen as more reliable than internet radio in the car.
From Automotive IT:

EU Parliament says ‘yes’ to in-car digital radio
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
The European Parliament has voted to adopt the European Electronic Communications Code, which requires that all new car radios in the European Union are able to receive digital terrestrial radio. This obligation, explains WorldDAB, is in addition to any FM or AM functionality manufacturers may wish to include.
From Radio Today:

DAB+ offers a better listening experience and more stations, says Jean-Claude Marcourt
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
The media minister of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation expressed his delight regarding the arrival of DAB+ in French-speaking Belgium, highlighting the various advantages presented by the technology, including the availability of a higher number of stations.
From RTBF:

European Parliament requires digital car radio
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
The European Parliament yesterday approved the renewed "European electronic communication code" (EECC). This obliges, among other things, that all new car radios must be able to receive all forms of digital radio over the air.
From Radiovisie:

EU Parliament decides digital radio duty for new vehicles
15.11.2018 - Belgium - Belgium
On 14 November 2018, the European Parliament adopted the new European Electronics Communication Code (ECC). According to this directive, all new car radios must be equipped with a receiver for digital terrestrial radio reception. This will make the long-demanded commitment of the automotive industry to the standard equipment of your new vehicles with DAB + digital radios a reality across the EU.
From Infosat:

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 11.0 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 95%
Services: 16 DAB, 12 DAB+, 2 Data
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 337,044 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 30%
Total Sales (cumulative): 540,000 devices
Last update: 23.11.2018

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)