Business federations in the federal state of Lower Saxony want to end the digital radio DAB+. The state Court of Auditors is also critical. We talk about digitalization, broadband and the 5G standard being within reach, so why should millions be invested in a technology that is outdated tomorrow? says Volker Müller, CEO of Unternehmerverbände (Employers' organizations).
Most radio listeners in Germany have adhered to FM radio and will later switch directly to Internet radio, which can be received via computers, smartphones or tablets. We must stop discussing a technique that is already outdated. The future belongs to a comprehensive fast Internet and Internet radio, not DAB +, says Müller.
He is also receiving support from elsewhere. Either fast clear frames and deadlines or an end to the DAB + campaign is the recommendation of the Land Court. For a period of 20 years, still it has not been possible to achieve a significant proportion of DAB users, according to the latest annual report from the Federal Court of Auditors. A forced FM shutdown is not appropriate, as long as the disadvantages of radio consumers are outweighing, according to the critical financial inspectors.
Observers estimate that perhaps up to one billion euros has been spent on the DAB technology since the 1990s.
DAB advocates see the criticism as an externally driven campaign, which may originate from the national private radio sector. The private radio stations in Lower Saxony reject DAB. This federal state is one of the most negative to DAB, in contrast to some other states such as Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hesse.
Lower Saxony is Germany's second largest federal state in geographical size and to the number of inhabitants 8 millions the fourth. The capital is Hannover.
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FM radio has a dominant position among radio listeners in Germany with about 90 percent listening on a weekly basis. On the digital side, DAB+ has a very tough competition not only from the Internet but also satellite and cable.
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