The National Communications Authority (NCA) has said they beginning August 2023, it will commence a Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) trial that will allow selected FM stations to be heard simultaneously in Accra and Kumasi.
What this means is that the broadcast of a FM station located in Accra can be heard directly in Kumasi without passing its feed through a Kumasi-based station, while a station located in Kumasi can also be heard in Accra without having to pass their feed through other stations in Accra.
A statement from NCA said “this trial positions Ghana as the first country in West Africa and the fourth in Africa to deploy DAB.”
It noted that DAB ushers in a new era of radio broadcasting, harnessing digital signals to deliver enhanced sound quality, expanded station choices and interactive features.
“Overcoming the limitation of traditional analogue FM radio, DAB promises a transformative and engaging listening experience,” it said. “Ghana will deploy the latest version of DAB, called DAB+.”
Benefits of DAB
The expected benefits of DAB include the following:
- Overcoming Frequency Constraints: With severe constraints on FM radio frequencies in major Ghanaian cities, DAB offers a solution to expand coverage and cater for the growing demand for sound broadcasting services.
- Improved Reception Quality: DAB utilises digital signals, mitigating interference and delivering superior audio quality compared to traditional analogue FM radio.
- Efficient Spectrum Usage: DAB allows more stations to share the same frequency channel and transmitter thereby enhancing energy and frequency efficiency. In this trial, 18 existing FM stations in Accra and Kumasi will share the same frequency channel to deliver DAB services.
- Enhanced Interactive Services: In comparison to FM, DAB allows the transmission of metadata such as text and images for the following – service and programme information, emergency warnings, news, weather and traffic information.
- Ease of Selecting DAB stations to listen: Consumers are able to select DAB stations by searching for the names of the stations instead of memorising their frequencies.