JPL's Wireless Communication Reference Website

Chapter: Network Concepts and Standards
Section: Broadcast Systems

Digital Audio Broadcasting

DAB was standardized and developed in European Eureka EU-147 project, which started in 1988. DAB tests started already in 1994, and the BBC started a network in 1995 followed soon afterwards by Swedish and Danish operators. The BBC will cover 60% of the UK population in 1998. Currently almost all European countries have operational or pre-operational services. However, receiver sets have thus far not been widely available.

New services included improved "convenience", as there is no need to know the station's wavelength'. DAB will provide more programmes, as it ensures a more efficient use of spectrum. However, some critics say that initially it will only consume more spectrum because programmes need to be provided both in analog and DAB formats. By exploiting digital transmission and error correction techniques, the sound quality is much improved and it guarantees 'static-free' reception and improved mobile reception. The goal of Eureka EU-147 was to achieve "near CD" quality.

DAB is suitable for new (data) services. The listener can set voice / music power ratio and choose his own dynamic range of the audio material. Along with the audio, additional information can be transmitted, such as

Digital transmission opens the possibility to have conditional access (subscriber radio)

DAB History

Technical aspects of DAB

  Prototype DAB radio receiver by Philips Electronics.  


Explain why subcarrier interleaving for DAB and DTTB with multiple programs preferably does not use a periodic interleaving scheme. Hint: consider the frequency transfer function in a typical single frequency network with reception from two base stations.

DAB Service Parameters

Operating Modes


The European JESSI AE-14 DAB project aims at realization of chips for key components of the DAB receiver.

Photo: DAB receiver chips FADIC 123 and SIVIC, developed by Philips. (courtesy: Jos Huisken, Group Digital VLSI, IC-Design Centre, Nat. Lab., Philips Research, Eindhoven)

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JPL's Wireless Communication Reference Website 1993, 1995.