Thursday, 17 June 2021

FM Radio Not Be Switched-Off in the Czech Republic. Another DAB Setback

FM will remain as the basic platform with DAB+ as an option.

There will be no transition to digital radio broadcasting in the Czech Republic according to the Ministry of Culture. There is no plans to switch exclusively to digital signal distribution in the DAB+ standard. Asked by the online publication Televizní, Petra Hrušová at the Ministry said a draft of the government's Strategy for the Development of Terrestrial Digital Radio in the Czech Republic will be submitted by the end of this year. This approach has also a strong support in the Parliament.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

Strong Public Response Against FM Switch-off in Switzerland.

A magical limit for a referendum reached. Former media minister steps on the brakes.

Photo: Britta Gut

The online petition has now reached 50,000 signatures which - albeit with a full address - are needed in Switzerland for a referendum. This is a clear and impressive statement from consumers, according to the initiator and Radio 1 boss Roger Schawinski: FM must stay.  Shutting down all channels soon would have dramatic effects and would be a huge mistake. This opinion is now also shared by former Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard, who, as Media Minister in 2016, strongly advocated a shutdown. Now she demands a longer “march stop”. 

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Swiss Radio Industry Veteran In Fight Against FM Switch-Off

"You don't want to admit that DAB was a mistake, and now you try the crowbar”

Political resistance against the proposed FM switch-off is mounting. And the Zurich media pioneer and Radio 1 CEO Roger Schawinski wants to prevent the forced shutdown of FM. At the beginning of May he launched the petition “Save FM” and announced a complaint to the Federal Administrative Court. Already 21.500 people have signed the petition "Rettet UKW". In an interview in Neue Züricher Zeitung Schawinski says that thanks to IP and 5G, all applications will soon only run on a single platform. All except DAB +. Because it is a 35 year old intermediate technology. It needs its own terrestrial infrastructure, and consumers need their own devices. This is complete nonsense.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Ban On Local FM Radio Commercials Is Proposed in Norway

A desperate Government attempt to save the DAB radio project

In a consultation proposal, the Ministry of Culture proposes that local FM radio stations in Oslo and four other metro cities should not be allowed to continue broadcasting commercials. - The purpose of the license condition is to protect the Parliament's previous conditions that these radio stations must have a non-commercial operating base. During the current period, the Norwegian media authority has experienced that the permit condition has been circumvented through market adjustments in order to be able to include analogue broadcast blocks in the switch-off areas in advertising sales, the ministry writes and believes that a ban on advertising is better. - But what is the real story here?

Thursday, 6 May 2021

FM Radio Mandatory For Smartphones In Brazil

The major broadcasting platform will extend its national reach

Mobile phones marketed in Brazil from June 1 this year must come with FM radio reception activated. The ordinance came from the Communications Minister Fabio Faria. The media authority Anatel will be responsible for regulating the new measure.
The measure is a long-standing demand from the broadcasting industry and has always faced resistance from major mobile device manufacturers. According to Fabio Faria, the activation will bring almost no burden to companies because most mobile phones already have the chip capable of capturing and converting the FM radio signal.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

DAB Radio in Ireland Now Off-Air, Permanently.

For years most listeners ignored DAB radio
March 31 2020 at 11am public broadcaster RTÉ ceased all broadcasting on the national DAB+ 
network. The niche  radio channels RTÉ Gold, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, RTÉ Pulse and RTÉjr Radio continue exclusively online. Radio 1 and three other main channels continue on FM and on the digital television network. (Radio 1 also on AM longwave 252 kHz covering all the British isles).
Public broadcaster RTÉ says its decision to cease DAB transmission was driven by three main factors; DAB was the least utilised platform in Ireland, RTÉ is the only Irish broadcaster on the DAB system, and cost avoidance. 

Saturday, 13 March 2021

The Final Countdown -The Future of DAB Radio Is Over - [Update 2]

Global smartphone revolution to kill a pyramid scheme which has cost taxpayers billions.  

FM and mobile/fixed broadband will provide ample space for audio broadcasting worldwide.

5G broadcast receiver launched in Austria

Public Access Nordic has for some decades observed developments in the field of broadcasting in Sweden, the Nordic countries and the rest of the world. Particular attention has been paid to the attempts to introduce DAB as a digital platform for terrestrial radio. However, DAB replacing FM radio is something that radio listeners never asked for. Dissatisfaction with the FM has ever been reported.  Today, FM radio is merely challenged by digital radio via the Internet. Despite this, the DAB system stakeholders continue conducting extensive lobbying in Europe. In some countries, the lobby has managed to lure the pants of politicians. Their foremost (and sole) triumph was a closure national FM in Norway, but not in Sweden or anywhere else.

The editors predict that DAB lobbying will continue for a long time to come as this is the only chance to survive. Otherwise, market forces would quickly kill the DAB system. The editors have noted that the DAB stakeholders never respond to criticism of the shortcomings in the system.  Below is our overview and analysis. Views and comments, including anyone not sharing our facts, views and conclusions are welcome. 

Sunday, 13 December 2020

FM Radio Mandatory for New Cars in Finland

DAB broadcasting is not on the agenda

The Finnish parliament has approved the reform of the Electronic Communications Services Act and related laws. The amendment to the Vehicle Act secures the possibility for Finns to listen to domestic FM radio channels in the car also in the future.

The position of FM radio in new cars in Finland will receive a new kind of security with the change in the law. Article 25 of the revised Vehicle Act, which will enter into force already on December 21, stipulates that the radio receivers of new cars sold in Finland must be able to receive FM radio.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Digital Radio Trial on the FM Band in Copenhagen

Also to be received in Southern Sweden. 

On 31 August 2020, the Danish Radio and Television Board granted Open Channel Aps in Copenhagen to conduct trial operations with digital radio DRM + on the FM band for the next 12 months, but can be extended twice more for 12 months. 

The broadcasts are planned to start during the last quarter of this year on the frequency 86.5 MHz, 500 Watt ERP and with a bandwidth of 200 kHz, which makes room for two DRM + channels. Each DRM + channel has a capacity of 186.4 kbps with space for three digital radio channels with a slideshow, a total of six digital radio stations can thus be broadcast here. There are ambitions to involve the Öresund region and possibly collaborate with another FM station on the Swedish side.

New Digital Radio Receivers For Consumer Market in India

Terrestrial broadcast DRM + is now also available in the FM band. A global challenge for DAB.

Chinese Gospell, Swiss StarWaves (including "TukTuk Radio"), and Indian Avion have launched new models of DRM standalone and car radio sets. Unlike before, most receivers have now also been adapted for DRM for all broadcast bands; medium wave (MF), short wave (HF), VHF band I-III including the FM band (DRM +).

An article in the radio industry magazine Radio World indicates that it will be possible to adapt current analogue FM receivers also in mobile phones to DRM + without any extra hardware. This is particularly interesting for India where a very large proportion of the population listens to radio in their mobile phones and smartphones; online or on FM.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Terrestrial Digital Radio To Complement AM and FM in South Africa

A pyrrhic victory for the DAB lobby. Analogue switch-off not on the agenda
The South African Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams, has issued policy direction regarding the introduction of digital sound broadcasting in South Africa which recommends both DRM (for AM and FM bands) and DAB+. This decision represents a first for digital terrestrial broadcasting anywhere, as it brings together in one policy the two ITU recommended open digital radio standards, DRM and DAB+.

The aim of the directive is to provide a licensing framework and optimum allocation of radio frequencies for the South African three-tier system of public, commercial and community broadcasting services. This will stimulate, where economically feasible, the South African industry in the manufacturing of digital receivers and ancillary gadgets and encourage investment in the broadcasting sector.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

British Commercial Radio Will Continue On FM At Least Until 2032.

A major setback for the promoters of the DAB system
Listeners of popular radio stations, such as Classic FM and TalkSport, will be able to access their favorite shows for another ten years despite rapid changes in technology and radio listening. Media Minister John Whittingdale has now decided how commercial radio will be licensed in the coming decade.

Almost 60 percent of all radio listening is now done digitally (DAB, the digital TV network, satellite and Internet), but analogue stations on the FM and AM-band are still important for millions of listeners. Another FM switch-off delay is regarded as a major setback for the promoters of the DAB system.