The National Communications Authority (NCA) has launched the trial phase of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in Ghana.
This move establishes Ghana as the pioneer in West Africa and the fourth in Africa to embrace this innovation, which enables radio stations to extend their reach to cities beyond their immediate locations, giving them a wider audience.
The trial will kick off with 11 radio stations in Accra, including Citi FM, and an additional 7 stations in Kumasi.
The Director General of the National Communications Authority, Joe Anokye noted that DAB has the potential to reshape the radio landscape in Ghana.
“DAB provides good quality audio, supports the provision of value-added services and spectrum efficiency. For example in this trial, up to 18 existing FM stations in Accra and Kumasi will share one frequency channel out of the DFH boundary which is 174 to 230 megahertz and a transmitter in Kumasi and Accra. With the concerns raised about restrictions on authorised coverage areas for FM stations, we will be testing the possibility of extending coverage. Accordingly, in this trial, stations in Accra will extend their coverage to Kumasi and vice versa.”
Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, also expressed government’s commitment to embracing technologies that enhance connectivity.
“Throughout the years, Ghana’s unwavering commitment to embracing digital innovation has propelled us to the forefront of digital transformation on the continent and our government through its digital Ghana Agenda launched in 2017 instituted projects and programmes geared towards bridging the digital divide and ensuring digital inclusion for all sectors of the economy.”
“We in the Ministry of Communication and Digitalisation have been focused on shaping and crafting policies that not only facilitate the creation of information and communications, technological infrastructure but also drive the development of services that foster economic competitiveness,” she stated.
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, also said the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) will provide significant economic benefits within the broadcasting industry.
“With the relatively high operational costs of running traditional FM stations in Ghana, it was welcoming to have a technology that reduces these costs and improves efficiency of resources.”
He further expressed optimism that DAB will encourage the production of content that contributes to societal growth and attracts more investors, leading to job opportunities.
To receive DAB signals, you will require a DAB+ compatible receiver or radio such as standalone DAB radios, DAB+ enabled car stereos, and even DAB+ functionality in select smartphones and portable devices.