Radio: New FM Bands To Facilitate Digital Sound Broadcasting In Africa
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 's Radiocommunication Bureau, in collaboration with the African Telecommunication Union (ATU), organised the first virtual frequency planning and co-ordination meeting last week with the focus of helping African nations strengthen their FM radio broadcasting platform and services.
Organised as part of the joint "GE84 Plan Optimisation" project for Africa to facilitate the fair and efficient use of the FM 87.5-108 MHs band, with the set goal of discovering new frequencies for FM analogue sound broadcasting. According to the ITU, the GE84 Plan Optimisation project helped facilitate digital sound broadcasting in Africa.
Speaking during the meeting, the Secretary-General of ATU said:
"Today in Africa, radio is a vital communication medium, delivering information and educational content with immense socio-economic value, particularly in rural areas. However, in many countries, FM radio's growth and reach are hampered by the limited number of FM frequencies. A coordinated, continent-wide effort in optimising the GE84 Plan for Africa promises to identify new FM frequencies to sustain and support the growth of the FM radio."
Mario Maniewicz, Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, in his statement also said: "This project to identify additional frequencies for FM broadcasting in Africa could not be timelier, as the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in greater demand for quality radio broadcasting."