ICASA has finalised the process for developing a position paper on digital sound broadcasting (DSB) technology, stating that the technology will be beneficial in South Africa.
The authority conducted an inquiry into the technology by accepting submissions from interested stakeholders and analysing existing implementations around the world.
“Having embarked on international study visits and research, ICASA found that there is clear evidence that DSB technologies are beneficial for South Africa and have proven to be successful in countries visited, such as Norway and Australia,” ICASA said.
The authority noted that while FM radio offers good quality audio, spectrum scarcity and high transmission costs necessitate the consideration of DSB services.
“Therefore, DSB is necessary to keep up with technological developments and to encourage spectrum efficiency,” the authority stated.
ICASA said that analogue transmission can co-exist with digital services, meaning that a total switch-off would not be necessary.
Based on these findings, ICASA said it would develop the draft regulations on DSB in the current financial year.