“Pirate DAB multiplexes take to the air in Dublin and Cork”

(Source: Radio Today Ireland via Mike Terry)

Pirate radio stations are appearing on unlicenced DAB digital multiplexes in Dublin and Cork, and more are planned for other cities in Ireland.

The “FreeDAB” platform, now carrying around ten stations, was born out of frustration over the procedures in place to broadcast legally on DAB in Ireland.

During the recent 12-month legal DAB multiplex trial operated by ‘éirdab’ in Cork, a radio station wanting to broadcast via this method would need to pay upfront for a five-year Section 71 licence (a list price of €14,000 (plus VAT)) and wait up to five months for the application to be processed.

But waiting five months for a licence and paying five years up-front to be on a 12-month trial are just two of the issues holding back DAB in Ireland.

The technology required to broadcast a multiplex is now easier to acquire and is mostly controlled by software whilst costs to broadcast illegally via the multiplexes also appear to be very low.[…]

Continue reading the full article at Radio Today Ireland.

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3 thoughts on ““Pirate DAB multiplexes take to the air in Dublin and Cork”

  1. RonF

    > “I don’t know how many older DAB receivers can just be upgraded by a firmware download.”

    From OFCOM’s numbers a few years ago, <20%.

    That's the prime reason the UK took so long to start upgrading to DAB+, and why the conversion itself is taking so long. They originally believed that receivers would only require a simple firmware upgrade for DAB+, but come the time to actually shift to DAB+ they discovered that over 80% of receivers would have to be replaced.

    (And from your other comment: you left out the fact that, even after 10 years, DAB+ listening still only makes up about 10%~20% of total per-station listeners in each city where available e.g. to use Sydney as an example, less than 20% of 2GB or Nova listeners are listening on DAB+.

    DAB+ listening only gets above 20% if you include all the DAB-only stations – and, even then, that total's been stagnant at 20%-25% for years. Granted, you may not have access to those breakdown figures, but I suspect that's why GfK & CRA stopped releasing even hints about them publicly about 5 years ago…)

  2. Mangosman

    I omitted that the mainland state capitals have had DAB+ for 10 years covering now about 14 million people. There are around 4.2 million receivers

    DAB+ however is not good for large areas of low population density where DRM comes into its own.

  3. Mangosman

    Australia has had DAB+ on full time high power (50 kW effective radiating power) and transmitted from the high towers used for band 3 digital TV. We were the first country to do this. At the time the public had no receivers so the ones which were in the stores were modified UK models to do the additional processing for better error correction and more efficient compression. As a result each transmitter carries around 20 stereo programs.
    When the signal contains too many errors the receiver just mutes, but on a visit to the UK the same radio sounded like bubbling mud when the DAB+ signal was problem free. Also virtually all of our programs are in stereo because of the HE AAC compression and I note the poor quality mono sound from many UK transmitters.

    So push for all programs to go DAB+, I don’t know how many older
    DAB receivers can just be upgraded by a firmware download.


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