Last week Perth took those first small steps to welcome digital radio broadcasting. MIX, GOLD, SEN, 3AW, 3MP, FOX, MAGIC, TRIPLE M, NOVA, VEGA, Sport 927, Radar, Pink Radio, Koffee and NovaNation create radio history on Monday, 11 May 2009 when they begin broadcasting the first permanent DAB+ digital radio services on the east coast of Australia.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia the industry body that has driven the move to digital radio said Monday was another milestone for the industry in Australia following the switch on of DAB+ digital radio in Perth last week.

“The possibilities for digital radio in the sport loving state of Melbourne are very exciting. AFL final calls on radio with scrolling text scores and stats or the Melbourne Cup with photos of winners or pause and then rewind if you missed the end of the race - these are all possible with the new capabilities of digital radio,’ said Ms Warner.

“DAB+ services in Melbourne have been greatly anticipated with many of the digital radio manufacturers such as Pure, Sangean, Teac, Roberts and Yamaha based in Melbourne. The digital radio switch on in Perth went very smoothly and traffic to our website has been very high with listeners seeking more information about digital radio.”

“The switch on of digital radio is a culmination of seven years work with the Federal Government, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), commercial broadcasters, the ABC and SBS, together with retailers and manufacturers of digital radios to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated switch on of a compelling new way of listening to radio,” said Ms Warner.

Digital radio is the radio you know and love plus new programming such as Austereo’s Radar and Pink Radio and DMG’s NovaNation and Koffee, digital quality sound and interference free reception, the ability to tune to the station by name, rather than frequency, and on some radios, the ability to pause and rewind a few minutes if you missed a song you like, plus scrolling news, sport and weather text and the capacity to transmit on screen on some receivers, a picture of a radio host, cover of a CD or a product picture.

“The Australian radio industry has invested in and created its digital future and will compete with other digital technologies and continue to maintain radio’s relevance in listener’s lives,” said Ms Warner

Ms Warner said for the first week to 10 days the DAB+ broadcasts in Melbourne will be in interference test mode which means that the power may be lower at night while any interference is assessed.

Digital Radio Channel Plans (DRCP) by the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) show a very high level of coverage from day one of the new technology. AM and FM services will continue to be broadcast for sometime to allow for the change over of the estimated 50 million analogue radios currently owned by Australians.

Digital radio will be free to air – all you need is a new digital receiver – no subscription fees or signing up, just tune in. Listeners can go to the website and type in their postcode to see if they live in an area where they can receive digital radio or where they will be able to buy a digital radio.

Alternatively, simply SMS your postcode to the mobile phone number 0409DRPLUS (0409 377 587) to find out if you can receive digital radio in your area.

DAB+ digital radios will be available in all shapes and sizes including MP3 style devices, hi fi, portable players, clock radios, car adaptors and PC radios. Prices will vary depending on their features. Entry level radios are likely to start from around A$150 and a radio with all the digital capabilities will start at around A$299.

Manufacturers producing DAB+ digital radios include; Pure, Roberts, Bush, Revo, Grundig, iRiver, Sangean, Yamaha and Teac with other manufactures expected to introduce further products throughout 2009.

Digital radios will be available to purchase throughout May at leading retailers including; Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, Myer, David Jones, Clive Peeters, Retravision and specialist retailers.

Commercial digital radio services are expected to be switched on in each city from the dates below barring any weather delays. For the first 10 -14 days services might be on low power at night as any potential interference is addressed.

Perth - 4 May
Melbourne - 11 May
Adelaide - 20 May
Brisbane - 25 May
Sydney - 30 May

ABC and SBS are expected to commence digital services throughout June/July. Please continue to check the website where information will be regularly updated.

For further information on digital radio visit:
Media contact Melissa Fleming, CRA PR Manager Digital on – 0417 499 529.

Q: When will digital radio be available in Australia?
Australian commercial digital radio services will officially be switched-on progressively throughout May in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. In the first 10-14 days of roll-out, and as required by the regulator, stations will be broadcasting in interference test mode to make sure any interference issues are dealt with.

Q; Will I be able to receive digital radio?
Type your postcode into the search function on

Q; Will digital radio cost listeners anything?
No. Listeners simply have to buy a receiver to listen to digital radio with products priced from $150 above. There are no other costs - no subscription fees, no messing about with signing up, just tune in.

Q: What extra features will digital radio provide?
Digital radio will provide new stations – like Austereo’s Radar and DMG’s Koffee and Novanation. Digital radio also means you can listen to your existing favourite radio stations but with digital sound quality. There are many advantages to digital radio – it will provide better reception, more details about advertised products, discussion topics, news items, sports and racing via text, graphics, pictures and animation. Features like pause and rewind will be available on some digital receivers, and, you can tune by station name, not frequency, making it easy to find your favourite stations.

Q: What radio receivers are available?
To listen to digital radio, consumers will need a new receiver. Digital radios will come in all shapes and sizes, including MP3 devices, hi fi systems, portable players and clock radios. PC radios, which plug into a computer and allow receiver functions to be controlled from the computer screen, will also be available. In-car adaptors and upgrades are also expected to be available and there are likely to be adaptor kits for mobile phones.

Q: Where can I buy a new DAB+ radio?
Major retailers are expected to stock a range of digital radios from May including Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, Myer, David Jones, Clive Peeters, Big W, Target, Retravision and specialist retailers.

Q: How much will a DAB+ radio cost?
Like any product range, digital radio prices will vary depending on the features and capabilities. Entry-level receivers (with scrolling text) are likely to start from around $150 and receivers with all capabilities are expected to start at around $299.

Q: Who makes DAB+ digital radios?
Pure, Roberts, Sangean, Bush, Revo, Grundig, Teac, Yamaha and iRiver are just some of the manufacturers making DAB+ digital radios. Other manufacturers will be introducing more products throughout 2009.

Q: Will AM and FM radio be switched off soon?
There are no plans at this stage to switch off AM and FM radio services. As there is an estimated five radio devices per home, listeners must be given time to change over all of their radio devices before any discussion of switch off of analogue services. In addition, planning needs to commence for the switch on of digital services to the rest of Australia outside of the five launch cities.

Q: I sometimes get crackling on my AM signal will this happen with digital radio?
Digital radio will provide interference free, digital quality sound and your radio will find the best signal in your area rather than you messing around with tuning the dial.

Q: Can I receive AM and FM on my new digital radio?
Digital radios will come in a range of different models. To ensure your radio receives digital radio services in Australia it must be DAB+ enabled. Some DAB+ radios will also receive FM. However you’ll be able to hear your favourite AM and FM stations simulcast on DAB+. Look for the logo on the product pack or in store.

Q: When will I be able to receive digital radio in other areas outside Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth?
Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has already started planning the digital radio rollout in other areas throughout Australia. A regional trial of digital radio will commence later this year and CRA is calling on the Federal Government to allocate VHF Band III spectrum in regional areas for the rollout of digital radio services across Australia.

Q: Is digital radio the same as internet radio?
No, digital radio is broadcast free to air over the airwaves via DAB+ technology. Internet-only radio services are streamed over the telecommunications networks and incur a download cost which varies depending on the internet service provider package. Free to air broadcast radio stations will also stream their current radio stations plus any new digital services, i.e. Radar, Koffee, Novanation, on the internet as well as broadcasting, so the content can be accessed on both platforms.

Q: When is the ABC and SBS going digital?
The ABC and SBS digital radio switch on is targeted for throughout June and July 2009.

Q: How are you telling listeners about digital radio?
A three phase digital radio advertising campaign, promoting the switch on of digital radio services to listeners has commenced on all commercial radio stations and on SBS radio in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The first phase of the $10 million dollar on-air campaign raises listeners’ awareness that radio is going digital. It also promotes the website: which contains extensive information about digital radio for consumers. Phase two of the ad campaign outlines the new capabilities and benefits of digital radio and is designed to generate heightened listener interest, and phase three will drive listeners to actively engage with digital radio and seek out retail outlets for digital radio receivers as the switch on takes place. Phase three will also promote a national listener focused simultaneous five state capital launch event, planned for 6 August, which will include all commercial networks as well as SBS and the ABC.

Q: Can I receive digital radio through my digital TV set top box?
Currently we are unaware of a digital TV set top box that will receive DAB+. However, we have been advised that a number of manufacturers are currently working on integrating DAB+ into a digital TV set top box. As new DAB+ products become available they will be featured on the website.

Q: How do I receive digital radio in my car?
Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has met with the car industry who are aware of the digital radio launch and say they are working towards a DAB+ solution. The after car market will also have a number of options including a specific in car adaptor, plus you may also be able to link your portable DAB+ receiver via Bluetooth in your car or through car navigation systems – GPS. CRA is working with manufacturers to encourage them to include a DAB+ solution standard into the in car navigation system. Other receiver manufacturers CRA has spoken with are working on after-car market options.

Q: What should I look for when purchasing a digital radio to ensure it will work in Australia?
Only DAB+ radios will receive digital radio in Australia. When buying a new digital radio look for the DAB+ enabled logo.

Commercial and Public Broadcaster Stations Going Digital in 2009

Sydney - 2GB, 2CH, 2UE, 2DAY, TRIPLE M, 2KY, WS-FM, MIX 106.5, 2SM, NOVA, VEGA, ABC & SBS stations – including ABC Radio National, Triple J, Classic FM, News Radio, Local Radio. Radar, Novanation and Koffee.

Melbourne – MIX, GOLD, SEN, 3AW, 3MP, FOX, MAGIC, TRIPLE M, NOVA, VEGA, Sport 927, ABC & SBS stations – including ABC Radio National, Triple J, Classic FM, News Radio, Local Radio. Radar, Novanation and Koffee.

Brisbane - 4BC, 4BH, 4KQ, B105, TRIPLE M, NOVA, RADIO TAB, 97.3 FM, ABC & SBS stations – including ABC Radio National, Triple J, Classic FM, News Radio, Local Radio. Radar and Novanation.

Adelaide - 5AA, MIX, SA-FM, TRIPLE M, NOVA, CRUISE, ABC & SBS stations – including ABC Radio National, Triple J, Classic FM, News Radio, Local Radio. Radar, Novanation and Koffee.

Perth - 6IX, 6PR, 96 FM, MIX, 92.9FM, NOVA, ABC & SBS stations – including ABC Radio National, Triple J, Classic FM, News Radio, Local Radio. Radar and Novanation.