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DAB + is now mandatory in new cars in France

Since December 20, 2020, DAB + is now mandatory on new cars. A European directive indeed imposes the small receiver on all new vehicles.

Car radio
Photo credit: Mpho Mojapelo / Unsplash

It’s done: in France, all new vehicles must be fitted with a DAB + compatible car radio receiver (Digital Audio Broadcasting). So it’s time to say goodbye to the ancestral analog AM / FM receiver.

Providing much better reception than the FM band, the so-called RNT (terrestrial digital radio) has therefore succeeded in less than 15 years in establishing itself as the best way to listen to radio in the car anywhere in France.

DAB + is now mandatory in all new vehicles

On December 20, 2018, a new European electronic communications code entered into force. He explained that “any car radio receiver integrated into a new vehicle available for sale or hire in the EU will be required to include a receiver capable of receiving and reproducing radio services provided through the digital terrestrial broadcasting. ”

Member States had 2 years to apply this text at national level. It is therefore from December 20, 2020 that all new vehicles must be equipped with a DAB + receiver in France. An adoption that did not wait for the implementation of this text, since in reality, DAB + has largely imposed itself in France. Thus, in 2019, more than 2.3 million DAB + compatible receivers were sold in France. In the first half of 2020, the small receiver was present on 59% of new vehicles in series, and on 33% as an option. It is now estimated that DAB + will be implemented among 40% of the population by 2023.

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Why is DAB + replacing the FM band?

A measure that was necessary, because in recent years, the FM band has experienced major saturation problems. An overabundance of radios prevents new stations from transmitting. In addition, if the listening quality is not always there, its possibilities of providing information on the current programs are very limited.

DAB +, which is based on digital transmission technology, therefore appears to be the best solution to overcome the difficulties encountered by the FM band. The quality of digital reception is obviously better than analog. In addition, unlike the latter, DAB + allows different radios to be grouped together on a single frequency. The receiver then divides the signal into as many stations as necessary. DAB + should therefore not experience saturation problems anytime soon..

One of the big advantages of the technology is therefore to ensure a wider choice of radios. In some cities in France, there are therefore more stations broadcasting in DAB + than on the FM band. But the latter will not disappear for all that, sincea DAB + device is also capable of receiving the FM band. When a station is available in both transmission modes, the receiver uses the one that gives it the best possible listening depending on where the vehicle is located.