Ghana launches West Africa’s first digital audio broadcasting

The National Communication Authority of Ghana (NCA) has officially launched the trial phase of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) in the country.

The milestone makes the country the first in West Africa and fourth on the African continent this cutting-edge radio technology.

DAB represents a state-of-the-art broadcasting system that revolutionizes how radio content is transmitted through the airwaves. Distinguishing itself from traditional FM radio, DAB relies on digital signal rather than analogue ones. This shift result in remarkable enhancements in reception quality and a significance reduction in signal interference.

Furthermore, DAB operates on a distinct frequency band, compared to FM radio, allowing up to 18 stations to efficiently share a single transmitter, thus reducing energy consumption. Additionally, it opens doors for their simultaneous transmission of supplementary data services alongside audio content, enhancing the overall user experience.

So far, 18 audio channels drawn from Accra and Kumasi are expected to be part of the initial. They are Unique FM, Asempa FM, Citi FM, Hot FM, Peace FM, Asaase FM, Starr FM, Atlantis FM, Class FM, and Oman FM. The rest are, Radio Univers, Angel FM, Kesseben FM, Opemsuo FM, Sompa FM, Radio Focus, Orange FM, and Wontumi FM.

The cutting-edge innovation is accomplished by converting audio signals from radio stations into digital format. This digital data is them compressed and combined with data from other stations (multiplexing) before being transmitted for general reception. DAB receivers decode the transmitted data, converting it back into audio signals for a seamless listening experience.

It will operate in the frequency range of 174 to 230 MHz, while FM radio uses the frequency band between 87.5 to 108 MHz as the country has adopted the DAB+ standard. DAB+ provides enhanced audio quality and higher spectrum efficiency compared to the first first-generation DAB.

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