Radio Broadcasting

South Africa: ICASA Seeks To Increase Digital Radio Broadcasting In South Africa

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in an effort to improve digital radio services in the country has published a document on the future of Digital Sound Broadcasting Services in South Africa.

The regulator has defined digital broadcasting service as an audio broadcasting technology that provides superior quality sound broadcasting service through the use of digital communication technology.

The primary differentiating factor between digital broadcasting services and the standard traditional analogue broadcasting is that with the former, there can be a successful transmission of digital signals at lowers a transmitter power.

A representative from ICASA mentioned that the agency has already granted some trial licenses for digital sound broadcasting in the nation, adding that the first trial license for digital radio broadcasting went to the SABC in November 2013. This temporary license was granted in an attempt to test the DAB+ technology, an effective alternative to the analogue FM band

SABC, the public broadcaster in South Africa, is currently using two transmitters, one in Pretoria and the other in Johannesburg. Both transmitters use a single frequency of 239.2 MHz in an SFN configuration, and this covers the majority of the Gauteng province.

The agency said that parties interested in commenting on the discussion document must make a written representation to ICASA 45 days from the publication of the discussion document.


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