Italian Regulators Green-light DAB+

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By Mark Krieger

Digital delivery will soon become an option for Italy's commercial radio outlets, as government regulators issued regulations earlier this month permitting DAB+ digital multiplexes to begin commercial operation in band III (174-230MHz) effective January 2010.

According to World DMB Forum, Italy's new digital radio service involves a comprehensive regulatory framework, addressing issues such as spectrum allocation, multiplex coverage, national networks and local content, simulcasts, and new content.

Rules for the new service were reportedly developed as a collaborative effort between telecom regulators and the nation's broadcasters. Italy's first DAB trials began in late July of 2007 and were conducted using a five-channel multiplex operated under the auspices of an industry group known as Club DAB Italia. Those trials coincided with a similar demonstration conducted by Vatican Radio, and another multiplex was launched in Venice in 2008.

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