It has been announced today that the first DAB+ digital radio transmitters have arrived in Australia; this marks a major milestone in the rollout of digital radio.

There are a total of sixteen new DAB+ transmitters in Australia and they are currently being installed at various tower sites in the five state capital launch cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Des Decean, chairman of the Commercial Radio Australia Digital Advisory Committee said, “this is a first for Australia and a truly significant milestone in the Australian DAB+ digital radio rollout.”

As well as the transmitters, other DAB+ infrastructure such as monitors and multiplexes have arrived and the antennas are under construction in Melbourne.

Apparently Australia will have one of the most spectrum efficient and sophisticated digital radio networks in the world, as a result of the CRA Digital Technical Advisory Committee’s efforts over the years and joint industry and government research grants.

“This new digital infrastructure will allow Australians to listen to dynamic, multi-faceted digital radio and is an investment by the industry in the future of radio,” said CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner.

With the addition of DAB+ infrastructure, broadcasters will be able to offer more stations, digital quality sound, a pause and rewind function, plus a new informative visual scrolling news, sport and weather text and the ability to transmit a picture of a radio host, the cover of a CD, a product picture or an animated logo on screen.

The installation of the DAB+ transmitters and antennas is said to be completed by the end of summer, it is expected that digital radio will roll out in May 2009.