DAB Still in the Future for the Czech Republic

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Prague - May 13, 2014 — The conference "DAB - Innovation Day - Radio in the 21st Century" took place in Prague today. Czech Radiokomunikace summed up the main issues discussed at the conference: There is no plan for a transition from analog to digital radio; and, the radio advertising market has been falling for several years, and needs impetus to change.

TelecomPaper is reporting that the Director General of Radiokomunikace, Michal Cupa, has said that while DAB is unquestionably the future of radio broadcasting and the "biggest innovation during radio's whole existence," the country is not yet prepared for it. Specific laws need to be amended to allow the "liberalization" of the radio market; and furthermore, digital receives need to be available in the Czech Republic. He also said it will be necessary to offer content that makes use of the new potential of DAB. Cupa says Radiokomunikace is prepared to cooperate in DAB implementation, expecting Czech Radio, and other commercial broadcasters such as Lagardere and Londa, to play a role as well.

The Director of Regulation and Strategy for Radiokomunikace, Marcel Prochazka, said the radio digitalization process is demanding, in terms of finance and organization; it will require the cooperation of broadcasters, network operators, manufacturers and retailers of radios, as well as the Czech Ministry of Culture.

In the Czech Republic there are three planned radio multiplexes that will provide for the broadcasting of up to 60 channels. Analog broadcasting will be available in parallel with FM until 2025. The Czech government has set 2025 as a reference date for the transition to DAB, and most commercial channels have their FM broadcasting licenses valid until then.

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