Saturday, 20 December 2014

Public Service Now Also Doubt DAB+ in Denmark

Politicians must reconsider digital transition
In a hearing at the Parliament the major private radio broadcasters together with the music copyright organizations has questioned DAB as the sole future digital platform in Denmark. They point to the fact that DAB has a limited use in Europe and presents no clear advantages for the listeners. Radio listening is shifting from FM and DAB to online listening on tablets, smartphones and computers.
Now also the two public service companies Danmarks Radio (DR) and Radio24syv have joined those voices. DR says there is a need for deeper analyzis of future media consumption and several decisions should be postponed. DAB+ will demand substantial investments the day the FM network will be closed.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Most of The World Will Be Mobile Connected

Nine out of ten will have a mobile or smartphone 2020
Becoming the major radio and television platform 
Ericsson ConsumerLab has identified some of the most important consumer trends for 2015 and beyond. Rapidly evolving urban consumer attitudes are transforming our world. With only 5 years to go until 2020, the future seems closer than ever. In another report Ericson forecast that 90 percent of the world population will own a mobile phone 2020 and there will be 6,1 billion mobile phones. The mobile video streaming will increase ten times and will 2020 represent 55 percent of all data communications.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

DAB Radio: Swedish Green Party Is Not Impressed

Technology and consumer needs must be reviewed says a party in the government
Miljöpartiet - the Green party - is still opposing a proposed national venture in digital terrestrial radio using the DAB system. I don't envisage DAB as an interesting alternative. But the proposal will be put on consultation and based on received answers  we will take a decision if there will be a need of more enquires, says Niclas Malmberg MP for the Greens and spokesperson for culture and media.

Monday, 8 December 2014

DAB Radio Cannot Replace FM in Cars in Sweden

Digital radio proposal missed importance of in-car radio
- including foreign visitors on Swedish roads
In an article in Sweden's no.1 daily Dagens Nyheter the two major car organizations Bil Sweden and Motormännen write that the DAB radio proposal recently presented to the government "seems to have forgotten that three out of ten radio listeners sit in a car".  The proposed time table for switching off FM 2024 is too tight. Millions of cars with FM receivers only will still be in use ten years from now.

It seems also forgotten that Sweden's neighboring world is comprising more than just Norway, comments Gunnar Bergvall president of the Public Service Council.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

No Decision to Introduce DAB+ in Sweden

DAB lobby slanting facts about digital radio proposal.
Last week a proposal for a transition from FM to DAB+ in 2016-2024 was presented to the Swedish government. Information about his has now been slanted by DAB promoters as a decision by  the Swedish government for a “roadmap” to a digital-only future. The announcements from Sweden and Switzerland send a clear statement that the future of radio is digital, claims Patrick Hannon, president of the EBU connected lobby organization WorldDMB.   

However, the Swedish government has not taken any kind of decision regarding digital radio. The former center-right government commissioned a "digital radio coordinator" and she has now presented a proposal for a roadmap.  

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Royal Academy Rejects DAB Radio

A severe setback for proposal to switch-off FM in Sweden 
The renowned Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has promptly rejected DAB digital radio in response to the proposed roadmap for a transition to DAB+.
The "Digital Radio Coordinator" commissioned by the former center-right government presented her proposal Dec 1. The plan consists of a mutual launch, extension of the licenses for commercial radio actors to broadcast analogue and a conditional shutdown of FM transmissions 2016-2024.
However, the proposal has been mauled by the public opinion in the press and social media and widely criticized by experts outside the DAB sphere of interest. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Proposal for a Transition to DAB+ Meets Widespread Doubt in Sweden

Thumbs down for a roadmap with a FM switch-off.
Public funding will be crucial. Set for a political decision autumn 2015.
A Digital Radio Coordinator has for a year worked together with the public service radio and the commercial radio industry to produce a roadmap on how to digitalize terrestrial radio, not why. The plan consists of a mutual launch, extension of the licenses for commercial radio actors to broadcast analogue and a conditional shutdown of FM transmissions. However, the proposal is not welcome with enthusiasm by the public opinion.

FM Capability in U.S. Smartphones Rises

FM radio in smartphones bundled with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on a “connectivity” chip
With the release of the NextRadio smartphone app now preloaded on some 30 devices, NAB Labs is seeing progress on the availability of FM in devices compared to two years ago. However, data shows that while FM chips have been present in nearly all of the top-selling smartphones in the U.S. in the past two years, their software and hardware integration levels still varies.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Broadcasters Question DAB Venture in Denmark

DAB Technology in Doubt - Online Radio Might Take Over 
Copyright organizations join the critics
Some of the major private radio broadcasters together with the music copyright organizations are skeptical that DAB should be the future digital platform in Denmark. This is expressed in a letter to Folketinget - the Danish Parliament. Among the signatories is surprisingly SBS Discovery (at present behind the DAB efforts in Norway and Sweden).

The signatories fear the development of a technology which nobody believes in  any longer and that nobody would venture a political decision to stop it or change strategy. They point to the fact that DAB/DAB+ has a limited use in Europe and presents no clear advantages for the listeners.

Public Funding Inevitable for DAB Radio Survival

Citizens forced to pay for DAB+ introduction via taxes and licenses
The state funding of digital radio in Norway is being covered up
Public funding of DAB in Norway is estimated to 3 billion kr NOK. The public service broadcaster NRK or the Ministry of culture has not been able to present more precise sums. Adding to this the households are estimated to pay 2 billion NOK for new receivers.
A recent inquiry from Poland to the Ministry of Culture reveals the lack of interest by stakeholders to present the costs of the whole introduction and who is going to pay for it.  The DAB introduction has not yet been presented in an open and democratic way to the citizens of Norway.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

India to Introduce Latest Mobile Broadcast Technology (updated)

Photo: Open Channel ApS
Public service plans to broadcast 20 free DVB-T2 Lite channels and radio on mobile phones 
Television broadcaster Doordarshan plans to start broadcasting directly a bouquet of 20 free-to-air television channels in partnership with private media on mobile phones from next year. The service on mobile phones is being planned in Mumbai and Delhi to start with.

Doordarshan will use DVB-T2 Lite technology which can be accessed through a dongle at present. Target is to start with all free-to-air channels operating at our DTH platform, said Shri Jahwar Sincair, CEO of Prasar Bharati, the public broadcasting company operating Doordarshan and All India Radio.

British Effort to Get Local Radio on DAB

Consultation to get smaller radio stations on DAB
Media authority Ofcom has published a consultation seeking views on the approachto issuing new short-term licences to support small-scale digital radio trials being run by Ofcom next year. If successful, this new technology could allow smaller radio stations to go digital at a lower costs.

Monday, 20 October 2014

German Federal State Retaining FM Radio For Ten Year

Flawed DAB+ uptake makes politicians to reconsider switch-off
The media committee in the federal state parliament of Saxonia-Anhalt has decided to change the media law in order to retain FM broadcasting at least until 2025. Today's decision safeguards that the FM radio in the end of this year will not end up as electronic scrap and that radio will continue to be a popular media, says the vice chairman of the CDU parliamentary group Markus Kurze. If most households use analogue radio then this way of broadcasting must be retained he says (

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Universal Radio Broadcasting in Smartphones an Uphill Struggle

DAB radio in mobile phones is a matter of survival
Mobile data costs less of an issue than ever before
The effort to embed radio chips in smartphones and other mobile devices is now a coordinated effort between BBC and other proponents in the US, Europe and Australia. They’re prodding manufacturers and carriers to embed and activate FM and DAB tuners into handsets. Because iBiquity is involved, presumably the ability to include HD Radio on those FM chips is involved as well according to Radio World. 
But will this effort impress the global mobile phone market?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Closing Longwave Not Popular in Ireland

DAB lobby keen to get public service out of the AM band
The public service radio in Ireland RTE has announced it is now closing down its Radio1 Longwave Service on 252 kHz. However, this decision is made without any consultation and has been met by opposition. The close down is now postponed until January 19th 2015. The critics say that the change will disadvantage individuals and groups in the Republic, and members of the Irish Diaspora living in N. Ireland and the UK. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

National Audit Review Might End DAB+ Venture in Sweden

A stop for basic public funding will force digital radio to be market dependent
The National Audit Office Riksrevisionen is focusing on if the taxpayers will get their money's worth if DAB+ replaces FM radio in 2022 and whether it will be efficient to construct a new radio infrastructure. According to a preliminary study, which started in April of this year, there have been indications that different alternatives were not sufficiently considered, nor were the consequences for the society and citizens.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

FM Expansion On Its Way in Sweden

Will put a DAB+ introduction in doubt 
Broadcast provider Teracom has found 68 new vacant frequencies in the FM band which can open for 17 new commercial radio concessions. The telecom authority PTS is now looking into the issue and will present its analysis probably next month.
The promoters of a DAB introduction in Sweden has claimed that digital radio is necessary because 'the FM band is full' and 'we need DAB+ to make space for more radio stations'.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Licenses for Digital Commercial Radio Increase Media Ownership Concentration in Sweden

A DAB+ breakthrough is still far off in Sweden. 2015 is the decisive year.
The media authority has awarded 21 national licenses and four regional licenses for commercial radio on digital DAB+ in Sweden.
The application process has not revealed any interest from new local or national actors or from new foreign companies. There has been more space offered than present demand and all applications has been granted.
The licenses are awarded to radio actors, which are already well-established on FM. 21 of 25 licenses go to the oligopoly of national commercial radio; SBS Discovery and MTG. The four regional licenses are also awarded established local FM stations.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Mobile Broadband A Dark Cloud for DAB Radio

Digital radio delays put television pressure on VHF Band III
The UHF band 700 MHz today in use by digital terrestrial television (DTT) will gradually be taken over by mobile broadband on a global scale. Television will have to find frequencies on lower bands and is now looking into the band originally created for television VHF band III which today also hosts DAB radio.

The European Broadcasting Union says that during last year’s discussions mobile services did not show an interest for the lower band (the VHF band), as the technical characteristics of the UHF band offered them an optimum balance between coverage achieved and antenna size. However, since then with continued delays to the deployment of digital radio in Band III, the idea of using those frequencies for DTT has been gaining ground.

Friday, 26 September 2014

FM Still Major Radio Listening Platform in the UK

BBC FM Radio Content Dominate Digital Listening. DAB sales down 9% 
Over the full 12 months to June 2014, digital listening (including DAB, DTV and online) accounted for a 36.3% share of all radio listening hours in the UK. Two-thirds of digital radio listening is through a DAB set. In the 12 months to June 2014  listening to digital radio was via a DAB set 65.3%, while 16.3% of digital listening was online or via apps. Digital TV accounted for 13.8%. BBC stations accounted for over half of digital listening (55.6%); of which simulcasts of analogue BBC radio services contributed the most.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Smartphones Becoming Major Radio Listening Device

FM Radio expansion and smartphone boom go together
India with today 900 millions mobile phones is becoming major world market for smartphones. The market price for quite advanced models, some priced at around $70, are becoming affordable for most people as the devices are multifunctional tools not only for communication but also for emergency alerts, education, banking, news and entertainment replacing other stand-alone devices as radio and television receivers. 

The first Android One-branded budget-priced "high quality" smartphones have now been released in India. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

FM Band in Brazil Being Extended 50 %

Closure of analogue TV gives space for more radio
A migration of medium wave (AM) stations to FM is on its way. In metropolitan areas as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba the present FM band is congested and will be extended. Jovem Pan AM 620 in São Paulo has received a permit from the Ministry of Communications to be able to start testing the signal on "extended FM" (which will range from 75,2 MHz up to 87,5 MHz and receive the AMs in major centers). The test on 84,7 MHz will be conducted by Jovem Pan will play an important role in the process of migrating AMs for extended FM radios. 

German Radio Pioneer Warns Against FM Closure

Photo: FFH nh
Media policy statement at radio award ceremony
The journalist and editor of the magazine Focus, Helmut Markwort, has received  the "German Radio Award 2014" for his services to the German private radio sector. Markwort is one of the pioneers of private radio in Germany and the founder of HIT RADIO FFH 1989. 
In the acceptance speech on stage in Hamburg for the Deutscher Radiopreis 2014 Helmut Markwort took the opportunity for a statement against a switch-off date for FM in order to force the transition to digital radio:

Monday, 8 September 2014

DAB Radio Venture Scrutinized by National Audit

Might end efforts to introduce the DAB system in Sweden
After a preliminary study since April 2014 Riksrevisionen - the Swedish National Audit Authority - has set on a review of government involvement in digital DAB radio, which is planned to replace FM radio 2022.  A central question is if the taxpayers will get their moneys' worth. Will it be efficient to constructe a new infrastructure for radio? In the preliminary study there have been indications that different alternatives are not sufficiently considered as well as the consequences for the society and the citizens.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

HD Radio On Trial in Norway

All-digital mode gives unexpected range of reach. Challenge to DAB+ and DRM+
An up to day successful trial with the U.S. digital radio technology HD Radio (IBOC) has started in Oslo managed by the Norwegian Local Radio Association (NLR). The station is Radio Nero on 98,7 MHz.

In contrary to the standard setup for HD Radio in the U.S. with the main channel in both analogue and digital mode this transmission is all-digital. Because of this the range of reach - with no signal loss - is surprisingly good even with this 100 watt transmitter in Oslo.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Swedish Broadcast Provider Makes Major Investment in FM Radio

Upgrade of the national FM network indicates less belief in the future for DAB+
The state-owned radio- and television broadcast provider Teracom has signed a contract with GatesAir in Cincinnati USA for a network-wide FM upgrade.Teracom selected GatesAir Flexiva transmitters, and the initial rollout phase will conclude in the first quarter of 2015, with installations scheduled for one dozen of its 30-plus FM stations. The remaining installations will conclude in 2016. - This investment indicates that Teracom is counting on that the FM network is not going to be closed for a for-seeable future.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Commercial Radio in Hamburg Rejects DAB+

Limited interest for DAB radio on the local market
The two major privately owned radio stations in Hamburg - Radio Hamburg and Alster Radio - abstain from applying for DAB+ license at the local state media authority.

The CEO of Radio Hamburg Carsten Neitzel says that the sale of DAB receivers is in no proportion to the annual sale of 200-250.000 FM receivers in Germany.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

DAB Radio in Norway: The Lobby Gets Its Own Local Radio Association

Big Radio Business Leaves The National Local Radio Association
A new association for local radio in Norway is set up in opposition to the long established Norwegian Local Radio Association (NLR).
The NLR chairman says that the new organisation is set up in order to split the radio sector and is de facto an organisation for promoting the DAB radio system. The suspicion is that the two major commercial radio networks is behind the new organisation.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

What's True About Mobile Broadband Broadcasting?

Biased "research reports" ignore the impact of LTE technology
It is claimed that the large download capacity provided by the wireless communication standard 4G/LTE will solve all problems for the IP distribution of radio, and maybe even television, services to mobile devices. According to broadcasting organizations such statements represent an oversimplification of a complex problem, including various non-technical aspects such as net neutrality, and costs writes EBU. 

However, after three much toted reports the broadcasting sector have not yet presented the complete picture but rather leaving out the decisive facts of the capacity growth for future 4G and 5G as well as recent developments of the LTE Broadcast multicast technology.

Monday, 4 August 2014

First Wide-scale 700MHz LTE Broadcast Trial Launched

Will broadband operators become also broadcasters?
Nokia Networks (Finland) has announced what it says will be the world’s first field trial of wide-area LTE Broadcast technology, using a single LTE frequency within the UHF spectrum in Munich, Germany. This technology can be used both for radio and for television.

The single frequency network (SFN)-based trial will see all base stations use exactly the same frequency to transmit TV content, which maximises the number of simultaneous TV channels broadcast over a large geographical area in a given amount of spectrum. The use of LTE Broadcast will enable users to watch TV without eating into their mobile data plan and will be independent of network load. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

DAB Radio Listening Share Stays Flat in the UK

FM radio is losing to online listening, but not to DAB.
Digital radio listening share remains flat at 36.8% year on year with listening hours for Q2 2014 with 378 million hours being listened to in an average week. DAB radio has a share of 65% of all digital  hours (24% of total hours). Listening via DTV (Digital Television) represents 13% (5% of total) and Online 17% (6% of total) of all digital listening hours according to the Rajar report.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Norway Might Reconsider FM Radio Closure

Local radio wants to keep FM. Few cars have DAB radio.
The much toted introduction of DAB radio in Norway is not yet succesfull. The FM network is planned to be closed for public service and major commercial radio stations 2017-19 but still only 12 percent of the cars are equipped for DAB+. Also there is a fierce resistance from the local radio sphere which do not want to leave FM for DAB+. The future fate of 16 million FM-receivers is still unknown.

The Departement of Culture is presently working on a proposition to the parliament - Stortinget - about the continued DAB developments which was decided on 2011. One of the two parties in the conservative coalition government - the Progressive Party (Frp) - which also is in charge of the Finance Departement - will propose that the decision to close down the FM network should be reconsidered. Today, Norway is the only country in the world with a set closure date for FM.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Rapid development for British community radio

The new Community radio was introduced in the United Kingdom 2005. Since then 294 licensees have been granted in three rounds based on a total of 507 applications from all parts of the country.  222 stations are on air today. Most are on FM , but six are broadcasting on AM (Medium wave).
Read the full listing.   

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

First South African Digital Radio on Medium Waves

The first DRM transmission in South Africa is on air from July 1. Radio Pulpit is starting a trial on 1440 kHz broadcasting using a 25kW transmitter (and broadcasting 10kW DRM30) using a low profile antenna. The broadcast, with up to two programs and eventually all the extra features, will cover greater Pretoria and parts of Johannesburg. 

Friday, 18 July 2014

First Global Online Radio Awards

Mixcloud, a leading global online platform for on-demand radio, and International Radio Festival (IRF) are calling for submissions for the first annual Mixcloud & IRF Online Radio Awards in Zurich 3-6 September 2014
Anyone, anywhere in the world, will be able to nominate a show or a station simply by filling in a form at

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Unlimited Audio Without Data Charges on the Internet

Mobile operator first with free audio streaming
T-Mobile's Simple Choice customers are now able to stream all the music they want from all the most popular streaming services, including Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Slacker, and Spotify – without ever hitting their high-speed 4G LTE data service. Music services from T-Mobile partners – Samsung's Milk Music and the forthcoming Beatport music app from SFX – will also stream without data charges for T-Mobile customers.

British Analogue Radio for Another 12 Years

New FM licenses good news for small-scale broadcasters
Ofcom is to extend the duration of advertised or re-advertised local commercial analogue radio licenses (AM and FM) from seven to 12 years. The policy changed in 2010 in light of possible announcements on a DAB switchover but in December last year, the Government said that there was still more to do before the transition to digital could be completed.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

India Will Have 1.000 New Community Radio Stations

Government aims to license up 1.000 stations on FM in near future
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on 19 June promised a stable policy regime with transparency and time-bound mechanism. Efforts would be streamlined so as to make the process of clearances speedy and transparent. He said that there is a need for expanding the reach of Community Radio and that the ministry aims at opening up of 1000 Community Radio Stations in near future. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Community Radio on DAB+ in Three Major Cities in France

Not joined by public service and major commercial networks
Today 45 community radio stations - radio asociatifs - in Marseille, Nice and Paris in DAB+ multiplexes. The stations are in most cases those extending its coverage into additional areas or stations which previously have not succeeded to get an FM permit.

There is a low key interest with this premiere as Radio France - the public service broadcaster - will not be on DAB+ because the French government says DAB+ will be to costly. Also the major commercial networks - as RTL - are not participating in DAB developments. According to the media authority CSA there are no plans to switch-off FM radio in France.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Expanding Space for Mobile Online Digital Radio

Europe and South Korea together on 5G mobile technology
It has been projected that by 2023 a mobile traffic increase on the order of 1,000 times is expected. To meet that dramatic traffic growth, next-generation mobile networks are also expected to achieve a 1,000-fold capacity increase compared to the current generation of wireless network deployments. This will include expanded space for mobile distribution of audio/video services as digital radio and television.

According to the European Commission the agreement signed in Seoul today is a milestone in the global race to develop 5G mobile technologies. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Commercial Radio Leaving DAB+ in Poland

Public Radio At Risk Going DAB Alone
The Polish commercial radio community says it will suspend its work with Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT), the media authority, on the transition to DAB+. 
KRRiT has received a letter signed by broadcasters from Group RMF, Radio Group Agora, Radio Group Time and Eurozet about the requirements of their engagement in the working group and the technical subcommittee. The signees complained that their opinions have been ignored. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

British motor journalist looks beyond DAB radio

DAB radio: dead on arrival?
Slowly, slowly we're seeing more digital radios in cars. But the glacial pace is allowing smarter alternatives to catch up, writes Nick Gibbs in the motor section of the British newspaper Telegraph. With still no switch-off date for analogue AM/FM radio announced and new technologies closing fast, there’s a serious concern that all the (predominantly taxpayers’) cash still being spent on broadening the network will be for nought.

839 New Commercial FM Stations in India

Third Phase of an auction for commercial radio in June
The government of India has issued a request for proposals from companies that want to participate in the country’s e-auction under Phase-III of the licensing process for commercial FM Radio . The auction is now being held after the new government took office in June and will feature 839 FM channels in 294 cities. 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

DAB+ Not the Future for Small-scale Broadcasters

FM still the preferred broadcast platform - with DRM+
as future digital choice, according to European 'green paper'
The retention of FM radio is strongly defended and a transition to the DAB system is rejected for Europe’s approximately 9.000 small-scale broadcasters. A complete stand-alone DAB+ structure cannot survive on a free market without significant public funding (taxes or TV license income) in most European countries. A new report – a green paper – commissioned by the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) questions the credibility of DAB system, highlights the preference of DRM+ as a digital choice and with DVB-T2 Lite as a possibility as well as the importance of online listening for future radio.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Would Google become the Global Broadcaster?

Broadband Satellites a Game Changer in the Spectrum Struggle
Google is planning to spend more than $1 billion on satellites that will offer internet access worldwide from space. Google will begin with 180 small satellites that will orbit the Earth at a lower altitude than most other craft. The project could have a great impact on the global struggle for spectrum in the UHF band, which television broadcasters increasingly are losing to mobile broadband operators. Besides expanding space for video distribution online radio might get almost unlimited access via the satellite network.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

New President of Local Radio in Norway Wants To Keep FM

National Organisation: a possible digital transition should be implemented over a longer period with state subsidies
Svein Larsen MD of Radio Metro is elected to President of the Norwegian Local Radio Association (NLF) with an overwhelming vote, but not with any support from SBS Discovery Radio.
Larsen don't want to keep FM and a digital transition should be over time instead of a set switch-off. For digitalization local radio will also need state subsidies. Larsen says that the authorities have been too much concentrated on the major broadcasters leaving local radio behind.

Biggest Growth in UK Digital Listening Is Online

After 19 years with DAB radio still major listening platform is on FM
Digital listening hours for Q1 2014 increased with 2,3 % to 36,6 % of all listening from Q1 2013 according to Rajar. DAB - introduced in the UK 1995 - has the biggest share with 24 % of the 379 million hours of digital listening in Q1. Share of listening via digital television network is 5 %.

The biggest growth in digital listening once again is through online and apps, which share of overall listening is now 6.4%, up 27 % year on year. As the uptake of smartphones and tablets continues, this percentage is expected  to increase and be the main driver of digital listening in the future according to experts. However, the analogue FM platform is still dominant with 60 % of all radio listening in the United Kingdom. More: Rajar Data Release

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Politicians urged to revise commercial radio regulations

On-air radio want to come on level with digital radio on-line
British parliament is being urged to relax commercial radio regulations as the platform faces competition from digital services such as Spotify, Deezer and iTunes. Chairman of the All Party Group for Commercial Radio, Andrew Bingham MP, wants new rules to be introduced that create ‘a more level playing field’. In contrast to digital services on line, commercial radio is required to comply with rules on music content, local production and license renewals.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

DAB One Step Closer to the Abyss

Independent audit might put an end to a DAB introduction in Sweden
Swedish National Audit Office (NAO) - Riksrevisionen - has announced starting a pre-study of the government decision process regarding the introduction of terrestrial digital radio (DAB+). The authority will take the decision in May 2014 on an inquiry to find out if the government, authorities and state owned companies have secured that the citizens will get the best radio for their money.  Included in the sphere of state owned companies are the public service radio Sveriges Radio and the transmission provider Teracom. 

Friday, 4 April 2014

India Expands FM Radio & Goes For a DRM Structure

DRM+ will be included in the receiver eco-system
The experts group of the Indian public service consulting report has recommended that the public service All India Radio make a transition to DRM medium wave from analog medium wave to meet the National and Regional coverage. Expansion of FM to increase regional coverage from 43 to 65 % should only be carried out on the basis of commercial feasibility. The receiver eco-system for DRM30 and DRM+ is under-developed and therefore to foster investment in a DRM receiver market, which will include Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Swiss Commercial Radio Station Leaving DAB+

Blame on too high transmission costs and few receivers 
The Swiss commercial radio station Swissmountainholiday Radio has closed its DAB+ transmissions. Blame is put on high distribution costs (205.000 euro per year). In addition, in the receiver market is too limited and DAB + is not installed as basic equipment of a new car. The station is continuing on cable, Internet and via smartphone apps.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

British FM Licensing Indicates Switch-Off Is Far Off

Share of DAB radio services has stagnated since 2007
British media authority Ofcom has published a consultation on the duration of analogue radio licences, and is proposing a new policy that means these licence durations will be set at 12 years. Ofcom could use its existing powers to revert to 12 year licence terms for analogue stations, instead of offering 7 years as at present. This relates to the re-award of those FM or AM licences not on DAB.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Listeners and Consumers Against Digital Radio Switch-Over Criteria

In 2010 a Digital Radio Action Plan for UK was launched to plan a Digital Switch-Over (DSO). The Minister was clear that the needs and concerns of radio listeners will be absolutely central to our approach to DSO. Two criteria were set that would trigger radio DSO. 50% of radio listening must be to digital devices and there had to be a major improvement in coverage to match that of FM and to ensure good reception especially on major roads. At the end of 2013 government pulled back from in principle commitment to DSO. The Consumer Electronics Group CEG, including VLV, did not accept the 50% figure.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

FM and DAB Should Operate Side by Side

UK commercial radio debating the future of radio
At the Westminster Forum on the future of the UK radio industry DAB lobby organisation Digital Radio UK’s Ford Ennals said that radio should be united for a digital future, with more choice and national and local coverage buildout. The future for radio is digital but it is also collaborative. Big and small, local and national working together to ensure radio does remain competitive and relevant in a multiplatform digital age.

However, Phil Riley, the founder of UK commercial radio group Orion Media, said a radical new approach should be adopted embracing a “multi-platform world”, in which FM/AM and DAB operate side by side for at least the next decade. Phil calls on the Government to delay the “Flawed” switchover policy.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Kiss FM leaves the nationwide DAB + multiplex in Germany

Private radio cannot go DAB without official funding 
The nation-wide distribution of the Berlin private radio stations Kiss FM on the national DAB+ network is terminated prematurely on March 31 2014. Kiss FM will continue broadcasting on VHF (FM), cable and on the Internet and mobile applications the company FOM GmbH & Co. KG announced.

Monday, 3 March 2014

EBU Shocked By Swedish UHF Band Decision

The EBU today expressed serious concern at a Swedish government decision to reallocate the 700 MHz spectrum band to "other forms of use" from 2017, since such a fast switchover will jeopardize the integrity of television services in Sweden. Television will now have to partly return to the VHF Band III, which is also utilized by DAB radio. 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Swedish Television To Leave Upper UHF Band

Mobile Broadband taking over. DAB Radio to share the 200 MHz band with terrestrial digital television.
The Swedish government today decided that the UHF frequency band 694-790 MHz should be assigned solely to mobile communications from 2017.
Broadcasters now have 
three years to migrate from this space to 470-694 MHz and also coming back to the VHF band III 174-240 MHz.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

DRM+ In New Multi-standard Receiver Chip

Advanced Digital Radio Receiver Chip For A Global Market
The israeli company Siano, today announced the launch of SMS2160, a new multi-standard digital radio receiver chip designed for automotive and portable/mobile consumer electronics applications. SMS2160 is the world’s most versatile digital radio IC to support T-DMB/DAB/DAB+, DRM+ and FM Radio, including RDS/TMC. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

First Broadcast in Sweden with New Digital Radio Technology

DRM+ Enables Digitalization in the FM Band
Today the first transmissions with the new digital radio system DRM+ went on-air in the Stockholm region. The test trial is run with a DRM+ transmitter on the 97.0 MHz FM band with a power of 500 Watts. The first six months test trials are made in consultation with the Post- and Telecom Authority in Sweden (PTS).

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Most British Radio Listening Still Analogue

Young people are listening on smartphones. DAB is left behind.
Weekly listening figures for the fourth quarter of 2013 has now been presented by Rajar. Still listening on analogue platforms (AM and FM) dominates in spite of DAB being established in the UK already 1995. AM/FM has a weekly listening of 58,5 percent (down 4,1 percent points from 2012). DAB 23,4 (+2,3), digital terrestrial tv platforms 5,2 (+0,1) and online 5,8 (+0,9).  The 2013 uptake increase of DAB is less than anticipated the year before; DAB +9,8 and Internet +15,6 %. This signals a DAB stagnation.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Now FM in BlackBerry Phones

BlackBerry users who download the latest 10.2.1software update will unlock FM capabilities in certain models. The handset maker says the update “unlocks the built­in FM radio” for the Z30, Q10 and Q5 BlackBerry models. The update is available now to customers in U.S., Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America, and will be available for the entire line of smartphones running BlackBerry 10. 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Terrestrial Television Giving Up Space For Mobile Broadband

Proposal to move television to 200 MHz  - the DAB radio band 
The 700 MHz frequency band has already been earmarked for mobile broadband by the 2012 ITU World Radio communication Conference (WRC-12) and this has also been confirmed by the EU European Council and in the European Parliament. However, the Media Authority in Sweden has recommended that the complete UHF band (470-790 MHz) should be utilized for terrestrial television broadcasts (DTT) until 2020. This has met loud resistance.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Lobbying Might Be Suicidal for DAB

WorldDMB activities may indicate a losing battle
Since the first launch of the DAB system 1995 there has been an intense lobbying effort by large scale broadcasting operators mostly public service companies, transmission companies and electronic manufacturers. For some public service companies being involved with the lobby organization WorldDMB this is a growing credibility burden. In this article the reader will learn about activities, which may surprise many. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Mobile Data Use Starts Skyrocketing with 4G/LTE

In South Korea, one out of every two mobile subscribers now has a 4G/LTE device, according to new data from GSMA Intelligence. But what’s even more interesting is the difference in how 3G and 4G subscribers used their connections in that country. Since SK Telecom launched its first LTE network back in the second half of 2011, data usage on 4G phones has more than doubled, while data consumption on 3G devices has remained flat.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Famed Jazz Radio Leaving DAB Network

The only jazz channel on DAB in the U.K. has left the national network Digital One. The station has moved to Switch Digital in Greater London in addition to online platforms. Jazz FM CEO Richard Wheatly said the station could potentially lose 150,000 from its record 700,000 listener base. Most of our audience listen to us on digital radio in Greater London – 400,000 people – and around 30% are listening on platforms other than DAB across the UK.  

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

First Multichip to Include DRM+

Siano Mobile Silicon, the Israeli supplier of mobile broadcast DTV solutions, has announced the launch of a new receiver chip designed exclusively for automotive and mobile consumer electronics applications. Similar to previous Siano chip solutions, the SMS4470 combines an RF tuner with a channel decoding processor, uniquely optimised for automotive and mobile devices. In addition to supporting DVB-T2 technology, the chip supports DVB-T and ISDB-T. Further, the SMS4470 supports a range of digital radio formats, including DAB+, DRM+, and the legacy FM radio. 
Read more at Advanced Television