The National Communications Authority (NCA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation, yesterday launched the trial of the latest version of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in Accra and Kumasi. Digital Audio Broadcasting is a digital radio standard for broadcasting digital audio radio services in many countries around the world.
The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, speaking at the event, said that this would place Ghana at the forefront of innovation and position the country as the first nation in West Africa and the fourth on the entire continent to deploy DAB+.
“This achievement underscores our commitment to not only staying abreast of technological advancements but also leading the charge in shaping the future of digital broadcasting across Africa,” she said.
She reiterated the government’s commitment to continue innovating the digital landscape to foster growth, empowerment, and prosperity for all, providing boundless opportunities for young people across the country.
This, she said, proves that Radio Broadcasting still reigns supreme over other forms of mass media communications, as it remains a pivotal source of information and entertainment for both urban and rural communities.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful revealed that the Digital Journal stated the global Digital Radio Broadcasting market was valued at $3,710.13 million in 2021 and is expected to expand at a growth rate of 11.01%, reaching $6,943.24 million by 2027.
“This provides an opportunity for Ghana to tap into this revenue stream to expand revenues for both the government and private sector,” she noted.
The Minister continued that the advent of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) marks a significant milestone in radio broadcasting in the country.
“With its ability to harness digital signals, DAB ushers in a new era of enhanced sound quality, an expanded array of station choices, and interactive features that redefine the listener experience,” she stated.
She added that the revolutionary technology surpasses the limitations of traditional analogue FM Radio but provides a promising transformational and captivating auditory journey for all listeners.
“What is more interesting about DAB is the fact that it addresses frequency constraints by expanding coverage as well as promoting efficient spectrum utilisation,” she added.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said the DAB trial is based in Accra and Kumasi and urged the public to utilise the platform to provide reports on how to pilot the entire programme across the country.
For his part, the Director-General of the NCA, Joe Anokye, said that DAB is a digital radio standard for broadcasting digital audio radio services in many countries around the world.
According to him, DAB provides good quality audio, supports the provision of value-added services, and enhances spectrum efficiency.
He revealed that during the trial, up to 18 existing FM stations in Accra and Kumasi will share one frequency channel out of VHF Band III, ranging from 174 to 230MHz, and a transmitter both in Kumasi and Accra.
He said the Authority had engaged household electronics dealers, car dealers, and representatives of electronic manufacturers on DAB+ receiver standards so they can begin to introduce quality DAB+ receivers in the Ghanaian market. “It is evident that we need all of you stakeholders on board for this trial to be successful. That is why we are launching it publicly,” he noted.
He urged the broadcasting stations to promote the DAB+ service, adding that the NCA, through the Government, will continue to contribute to improving technology, hence the need for stakeholders to play their part for a successful trial of DAB services.
He explained that President Akuffo-Addo has pursued a Digital Transformation Agenda aimed at expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery, and promoting digitally enabled innovation. “The introduction of digital sound broadcasting is consistent with the Government’s vision for digital acceleration and transformation,” he stated.