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.