EUPEN, Belgium — In a joint press release on Sept. 20, Belgian German language public radio station BRF and commercial stations 100.5 Das HitRadio, Radio Contact Ostbelgien Now, Radio Sunshine and Radio 700 announced they will broadcast on DAB+ from Oct. 1.
Management representatives of the five broadcasters gathered in the BRF headquarters in Eupen, where they signed a collaboration agreement in the presence of Media Minister Isabelle Weykmans.
Under the banner “DAB+ in Ostbelgien,” public broadcaster BRF will manage the multiplex on which the five stations will broadcast using the 8A Block (195.936 Mhz). The first transmitter is operational at the Petergensfeld/Raeren site. Early next year, a second transmitter in Wallerode/Amel will cover the southern part of the German community.
“We’re happy to write a chapter in the digital radio history of Eastern Belgium and to offer our listeners a better audio quality,” said Alain Kniebs, director with BRF. “BRF is, thanks to our partnership with (French language public broadcaster) RTBF, already on DAB+ in a substantial part of the country. Adding our core broadcast service area is great. In addition, as a network operator, we comply with our public assignment.”
André Goebels, managing director of Radio Contact Ostbelgien NOW, is equally enthusiastic. “DAB+ is an important leap ahead. For us as an individual station, we could never have done this alone – a great thank you to BRF for paving the path,” he said.
“We’re happy to be part of the DAB+ pilot project,” added Ewald Gangolf, managing director of regioMEDIEN AG, 100.5 DAS HITRADIO. “For our audience at home in the Belgian-German-Dutch triangle, DAB+ offers a fresh technological opportunity resulting in an even better audio quality of our programs.”
For Radio Sunshine, adding DAB+ to the FM signal will trigger new content. “Starting this October, we will broaden our roster with live reports and regional sports coverage – we’re proud to enter this new era of digital radio,” commented Benoit Gauder, managing director of Radio Sunshine.
Jochen Späth, program director with Radio 700, said DAB+ will help the station enter a new century, adding, “Offering more service and listening comfort for audience and advertisers is our target, backed by a top-quality broadcast.”