A new radio antenna was recently airlifted to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It should enable the whole of Île-de-France region to benefit from digital terrestrial radio (DAB+). With this installation, the Dame de fer now measures 330 meters.
Even 130 years after its construction, the Eiffel Tower continues to get taller. Thanks to a new six-meter radio antenna placed at its summit on March 15, it now stands at 330 meters (against 324 meters previously) tall. The airlifting of the 350kg transmitter, approved by the Administration of Paris, the Paris Police Prefecture and the Ministry of Culture, only lasted about fifteen minutes. Never in the past had equipment been installed on the tower by helicopter.
Carefully prepared for more than a year by TDF engineers, the operation cost one million euros. The eminent monument, among the most visited in the world, now has an antenna capable of perfectly covering the whole of Île-de-France in digital terrestrial radio (DAB+). The previous antenna installation at the top of the Eiffel Tower took place in 2000 to allow the diffusion of DTT (digital terrestrial television).
After its construction in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition, Gustave Eiffel’s tower measured exactly 300 meters. Its dismantling should have taken place 20 years later, but history decided otherwise. Because, in the meantime, it became a center of technological and scientific experimentation, the Eiffel Tower served as a radio transmitter, initially for military purposes. A function that it continues to provide today, from the top of its 330 meters.
Improved digital radio coverage in Île-de-France
The new radio antenna that tops the Eiffel Tower is not unique. Dozens of similar devices installed by TDF exist, distributed throughout the Ile-de-France area. They make it possible to broadcast nearly 30 DTT channels and 32 radio stations to 12 million Ile-de-France residents. Their radius covers almost 70km around the Eiffel Tower.
What is DAB+?
The acronym DAB+ stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting. This is the radio version of DTT. It has the advantage of broadcasting up to 13 radio stations on the same frequency, whereas FM only has one radio station for each frequency. In addition, its robust signal allows listeners equipped with a specific DAB+ receiver to enjoy excellent listening quality (significantly improved reception and stability).