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Wednesday, February 02, 2022

New FM frequencies to expand radio’s reach in Africa - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

Experts have identified frequencies in the 87.5–108 MHz band range capable of boosting broadcasting across the continent, reports ITREALMS.

Together with international radiocommunication experts,
ITREALMS gathered that African countries have identified new frequencies between 87.5 megahertz (MHz) and 108 MHz to expand FM (frequency modulation) radio broadcasting services across the continent.

The newly coordinated frequencies are the outcome of the two-year GE84 Plan optimization project for Africa, jointly coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the African Telecommunications Union (ATU), with collaborative support from 50 African countries.

“The successful completion of this project is a major milestone for radio broadcasting in Africa," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “Access to information through technologies such as radio broadcasting is vital to achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ITU is proud of this fruitful partnership with the African Telecommunications Union which will reinforce broadcast radio's reach across Africa."

ATU Secretary General John Omo said: “We are delighted that the outcome of this project opens the possibility for new channels to help secure the long-term sustainability of radio broadcasting in Africa."

The GE84 Plan relates to the use of the band 87.5–108 MHz for FM sound broadcasting in Region 1 and part of Region 3 as established in the Regional Agreement, Geneva, 1984.

Launched in East London, South Africa, in July 2019, the GE84 Plan optimization project aimed to ensure compatibility among existing and new broadcasting frequency assignments in the 87.5–108 MHz band and facilitate the eventual introduction of digital sound broadcasting in Africa.

The project also carried out a regional FM compatibility analysis, using software tools developed by the ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau as the basis for further discussions and coordination between national and regional administrations.

The project brought together national broadcasters and regulators from across Africa and neighbouring regions to focus on various aspects of spectrum coordination, including steps countries can take to avoid harmful interference as FM services expand.

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