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Digital audio broadcasting network sharing arrangements confirmed

Preparation for the launch of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) services in Hong Kong has entered the final stage as representatives from Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited (DBC), Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited (Metro), Phoenix U Radio Limited (Phoenix U), and Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) signed an agreement setting out the network sharing arrangements today (October 13) at a ceremony witnessed by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So.

According to the network sharing arrangements, the three licensees and RTHK will join in building a DAB network using existing analogue frequency modulation (FM) hilltop transmission stations. They will operate the network together and share the cost of using the facilities.

After the signing ceremony, representatives of the operators jointly hosted a seminar on DAB, which is one of the programmes at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition). The seminar, targeting manufacturers and suppliers of electronic appliances, is aimed at keeping the trades abreast of the progress of DAB in Hong Kong. The representatives briefed the seminar participants on the latest developments of DAB as well as their services and programme features. They also exchanged views on the detailed arrangements for DAB and encouraged the trades to help promote DAB services by launching products to meet customer demand in a timely manner.

The four operators will provide round-the-clock DAB services on a total of 18 channels (three each for Metro and Phoenix U, seven for DBC and five for RTHK), offering a wide variety of programme choices covering music, lifestyle, current affairs, finance, community and art and culture. Formal services are expected to be launched late this year or early next year.

Compared to analogue radio services, DAB provides better sound quality, more stable reception and a greater diversity of programmes. It also supports the transmission of digital images (ancillary visual service) to the screens of DAB receivers. With suitable digital radios, listeners will be able to view news, weather and traffic information, and information about songs on the radio's screen.

More details are available at the dedicated website (

Thursday, October 13, 2011