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The terrestrial digital radio

Actions of the Council in the field of the digital radio

The organization of public consultations of 2005 to 2010

The terrestrial digital radio (DOADT)

By 2005, the Council was concerned with work out the future landscape of the terrestrial digital radio by collecting the opinion of the actors. This collection was carried out within the framework of a very open dialogue and not excluding a priori any scenario from deployment of the digital radio.

Thus the Council organized two public consultations in April 2005 and October 2006 and brought together in 2007, following these consultations, the actors within three working groups: a group on planning, a group on indication, a group charged with the legal organization of the calls.

At the end of this conciliation work deepened, a broad consensus of the actors of the radio emerged to shortly launch the digital radio on a dedicated ground network using band III and L bandages it.

The conciliation work of the Council was supplemented by two new public consultations launched in June 2009 (on the use of the total resource allocated with the digital radio and the definition of the objectives of cover of the services) and March 2011 (on the use of the band L).

The launching of a call for candidate out of digital radio

At the end of this process of dialogue, the Council launched the first phase of deployment of the digital radio with the call for candidate of March 26th, 2008, bearing on 19 great urban areas (of which Paris), accounting for 30% of the French population, on the tape L and band III, without expecting the complete stop of the diffusion of Channel + in analogical mode on this tape.

On May 26th, 2009, this call was enclosed on 16 zones for which it was not possible to release from the final frequencies, diffusion of Channel + into analogical not being stopped yet. This same day, the Council selected the radios for the three zones remaining with the call: Paris, Marseilles and Nice-Cannes, on multiplexings including each one 8 to 11 services, and allowing to offer from 7 to 13 new radios in each one of these zones.

The installation of the mission of deployment of the terrestrial digital radio

The Council created a mission of deployment of the terrestrial digital radio, chaired per MM Rachid Arhab and Alain Méar, then members of the college of the Council, gathering the representatives of the editors of public and deprived radiophonic services, of the technical diffusers, the manufacturers, the ministry for the culture and the communication and the secretariat of State to the futurology and the development of the digital economy. This mission, including four working groups with dominant technique or organisational was installed on November 23rd, 2009. The working groups met on several occasions between November 2009 and March 2010.

At the time of the full session of the Mission of deployment of the RNT of March 15th, 2010, four radiophonic groups joined together within the “Office of the radio” (Lagardere, NRJ, Nextradio, RTL) asked for a moratorium of 18 months on the launching of the terrestrial digital radio. Skyrock indicated that the terrestrial digital radio did not seem to him a solution with a future. The near total of the other editors present called their wishes the fast launching of the digital radio.

At the time of the plenary assembly of April 8th, 2010, the Council chose to reaffirm its commitment to apply the relative law to the RNT as soon as possible. He considered that a strong commitment of the public authorities was an essential condition with the success of the terrestrial digital radio, and a precondition to the delivery of the authorizations in the three zones which is the object of the call for candidate.

A press release showing these orientations was published on April 9th.

Proposals of the report Kessler and works in progress in 2011

On May 27th, 2010, the Prime Minister entrusted to Mr. David Kessler a mission of reflection on the future of the terrestrial digital radio (RNT). After a report of stage, given in October 2010, Mr. Kessler submitted on March 18th, 2011 his final report.

The Council, which became acquainted with this report, fully fits in the proposal of Mr. Kessler to develop the experiments as regards digital radio. It authorizes regularly, since 2009, of the experiments in great urban areas (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Rouen) which allow him, like with the actors of the radiophonic sector, to draw from many lesson, in particular technical. These experiments associate public radios like private, associative and commercial. Some of them also aim at emphasizing the image of the terrestrial digital radio and the possibilities that it offers to the listeners, in particular by the contribution of new services of radio in zones where the FM band is already saturated.

The actualization of the call for candidate of 2008

At the end of 2011, an appeal in summary procedure with the Council of State was introduced by the Trade union representing the independent commercial radios (SIRTI), against what he regarded as an implicit decision of rejection of his request for delivery of the authorizations to the editors selected in the zones of Marseilles, Nice and Paris. The Council then presented, in its writings, the principle of the reopening of the time of deposit of the candidatures in order to allow the delivery of the authorizations, so in particular taking into account the evolution of the radiophonic landscape and the availability of the frequencies.

On April 12th, 2012, the Council consequently decided to bring up to date the call for candidate launched on March 26th, 2008, by adopting a decision of modification of the time of deposit of the candidatures, which was carried at May 31st, 2012.

This decision allowed the actualization of the dossiers presented in 2008 as well as the deposit of new files. It also envisaged that in the absence of actualization or of withdrawal clarifies candidatures deposited in 2008, those remain in force. Lastly, it opened to the candidates the possibility of applying, in the same zone, on one or more types of allotment (local, intermediate, wide) according to the required type of service road.

Within the framework of the procedure of actualization, the four groups members of the Office of the radio withdrew the whole of their candidatures, as well for the resumption of their services of FM radio as for their new projects. On the whole, however, most services of radios already candidates in 2008 maintained their candidature, by bringing up to date it or not, and 38 new files moreover were deposited, that is to say a full number of introduced 177dossiers.

On September 25th, 2012, the Council selected the candidates in the three zones, supplementing this selection then in particular to provide the places made available by the withdrawal with Radio operator Classic and Classical Integral in the three zones. 

In addition, by press release on September 6th, 2012, the Government announced its decision not to proceed to the priority reservation envisaged by article 26 of the law of the modified September 30th, 1986, for the radios of public service (Radio France and RFI). These services are consequently absent from offer out of digital radio in the three zones.

On January 15th, 2013, the Council carried out the delivery of the authorizations to the selected operators.

The call for candidate “distributors” bandages L of them

The Council launched on November 3rd, 2011 a call for candidate out of digital radio (band L) in order to authorize a distributor of services for a diffusion on the whole of the metropolitan territory of a bouquet including of the services of radios and possibly services other than of radio or television.

Two candidates deposited a file and were declared admissible: association the digital radio bandages of them L and the digital company Wave. On October 23rd, 2012, the Council decided to select, as preparatory measurement, the candidature of the digital company Wave and authorized the distributor on January 15th, 2013.

Evolution of the standard of diffusion out of terrestrial digital radio

The technical standards applicable to the terrestrial digital radio in France are defined by a joint decree of the ministers in charge for industry and communication of January 3rd, 2008. This decree provides in particular that, for the family of standards Eureka-147, only the T-DMB is usable in France.

Within the framework of its work, in particular of those of the Observatory of the digital radio that it joined together on October 13th, 2011, the Council noted that the standard Usually +, which also is part of the family Eureka-147, experienced a significant development in Europe and which its use was wished by many professionals of the radio in France. This standard would make it possible, compared to the T-DMB, to increase the number of radios per multiplexing and to thus reduce the cost of diffusion for each one of them. The French public could moreover profit from the availability of receivers compatible with Usually + since this one is used in several European countries, in particular in the United Kingdom and in Germany. This is why the Council recommended to the Government, by mail of December 19th, 2011, to usually add the standard + to those which are already envisaged by the decree of January 3rd, 2008.

Following this action of the Council, the ministries for culture (DGMIC) and industry (DGCIS) launched a public consultation to collect the opinion of the actors concerned for a modification of the decree of January 3rd, 2008. The answers collected having mainly confirmed the position of the Council, a project of modified decree was transmitted for opinion to the Council on October 11th, 2012. He gave on November 13th, 2012 a favorable opinion with this project, with some secondary draft amendments.

Settlement of the date of starting

The Council fixed at June 20th, 2014 the date of starting of the services of digital radio terrestrial selected in the zones of Marseilles, Nice and Paris.


Consult the press release published in this occasion.

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