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Radio Mont Blanc, an independent local radio station based in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, has boosted its coverage using DAB+. The station received authorization from the CSA — France’s national audiovisual regulatory body, the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel — in conjunction with the Lyon Territorial Audiovisual Committee, to broadcast on DAB+ in the Annecy, Annemasse, Chambéry and Aix-les-Bains areas.
Unlike most of its competitors in the Haute-Savoie, Radio Mont Blanc was not broadcast on FM in nearby Annecy, Annemasse or even Chambéry, despite the demand of listeners and local authorities. The saturated FM band and the technical impossibility of broadcasting via FM limited the geographical extension of Radio Mont Blanc to the rest of the area.
The area borders Switzerland and is highly mountainous, so the station has been unable to cover the entire area on FM. “This is the most difficult territory to cover in France due to the complexity of its terrain, the number of transmitters to install and the need to synchronize all the FM/DAB+ and Internet technologies, especially for an optimal user experience in vehicles,” emphasized Emmanuel Briot, technical and editorial director of Radio Mont Blanc. The DAB+ switch on occurred on Dec. 20, last year.
“We have moved from nearly 20% of the population covered on FM by Radio Mont Blanc in Haute Savoie, to nearly 60% with the combination of FM and DAB+,” explained Caroline Chicard, the general manager of the Mont Blanc Médias group, of which Radio Mont Blanc is a part. “This is a major evolution in our development.”