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Asaase Radio and 17 others begin digital audio trial in Ghana

Asaase Broadcasting/Asaase anniversary/digital radio

At least 18 radio stations, including Asaase 99.5 Accra, are part of the trial of the newly launched Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) service in Ghana.

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, officially launched the six-month pilot project on Tuesday (22 August), describing it as the first ever in West Africa and the fourth on the continent to deploy the DAB service.

Speaking on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Bernie O’Neill, the project director for WorldDAB, said: “It’s a technical trial. I guess for the NCA it was a difficult choice. I understand it was a random choice …

“What I am already seeing is a huge amount of interest from the broadcasters at this, so that is really encouraging, and I wish everyone a huge success with the technology.

“It’s an opportunity for broadcasters to collaborate and make the most of this opportunity to keep this vibrant radio industry that you have here strong for a digital future,” O’Neill said.

Listen to Bernie O’Neill in the audio clip attached below:

Participating stations

The DAB platform in Ghana, built and managed by K-NET, is being implemented by the National Communications Authority (NCA) and involves 18 stations, 11 of them based in Accra and seven in Kumasi.

The 11 stations in Accra are Unique FM, Asempa FM, Peace FM, Citi FM, Class FM, Oman FM, Asaase Radio, Atlantis Radio, Radio Univers, Starr FM and Hot FM.

The seven in Kumasi are Kessben FM, Radio Focus, Orange FM, Angel FM, Opemsuo FM, Wontumi FM and Sompa FM.

Benefits of DAB

1. Overcoming frequency constraints: With severe constraints on FM radio frequencies in major Ghanaian cities, DAB offers a solution to expand coverage and cater for the growing demand for sound broadcasting services.

2. Improved reception quality: DAB uses digital signals, mitigating interference and delivering superior audio quality compared to the old analogue FM radio.

3. Efficient spectrum usage: DAB allows more stations to share the same frequency channel and transmitter, thereby enhancing energy and frequency efficiency. In this trial, 18 existing FM stations in Accra and Kumasi will share the same frequency channel to deliver DAB services.

4. Enhanced interactive services: In comparison to FM, DAB allows the transmission of metadata such as text and images for the following – service and programme information, emergency warnings, news, weather and traffic information.

5. Ease of selecting DAB stations to listen: Consumers are able to select DAB stations by searching for the names of the stations instead of memorising their frequencies.

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

Asaase Radio 99.5 broadcasts on radio via 99.5 in Accra, 98.5 in Kumasi, 99.7 in Tamale, 100.3 in Cape Coast and on our affiliates Bawku FM 101.5 in Bawku, Beats FM 99.9 in Bimbilla, Somua FM 89.9 in Gushegu, Stone City 90.7 in Ho, Mining City 89.5 in Tarkwa and Wale FM 106.9 in Walewale
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