Digital Sound Broadcasting Under the Spotlight

Department of Communications

Comment is sought on the Policy Directive Regarding the Introduction of Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) in South Africa.

The communications department published the invitation for comment in Government Gazette 41928.

The Policy Directive was drawn up in terms of Section 3(1) and (2) of the Electronic Communications Act.

DSB is an audio broadcasting technology aimed at providing superior quality sound broadcasting service using digital communications technology.

According to a department statement, the introduction of DSB in South Africa “will help to complement the existing analogue radio services, while at the same time providing a platform for new players and products in the radio space”.

Another benefit will be the provision of certainty in the market, in particular within the automotive industry as well as the digital radio receiver manufacturing and retail value chains.

The Directive instructs the Independent Communications Authority to facilitate different licensing methods for broadcasting services in the frequency bands allocated to sound broadcasting services and determine an appropriate licensing methodology to achieve certain goals including universal services, introduction of new entrants, promotion of investment, promote competition, innovation and increase the uptake and usage of digital radio.

ICASA is also tasked with ensuring that the licensing approach caters for the three tier system of public, commercial and community broadcasting service and consider the most efficient licensing framework of DSB services in the MW sound broadcasting band, FM sound broadcasting band and the VHF band.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Sabinet Cape Town Office