Monday 21 March 2016

New Smartphone A Lifebuoy for DAB

A paradox: Can a smartphone online get five-to-twelve-rescue for DAB?
The first smartphone that can also receive DAB radio in addition to FM and online was presented at the Radio Days conference in Paris launched its first. LG Stylus 2 is really a "phaplet"- which in size is something between a mobile and a plate. On this one you should be able to listen seamlessly to hybrid radio - a radio channel that automatically switches between DAB + or FM and Internet depending on varying reception conditions. But experts are wondering whether there is a sufficient market for this because DAB is only in operation in few countries on a global scale.

The South Korean smartphone has been developed in cooperation with IDAG (International DMB Advancement Group), an international working group for the development of the DAB technology. Today, after seven years IDAG now has got a mobile manufacturer interested to include DAB in a new mobile. EBU radio boss Graham Dixon said EBU for long tried to get the various stakeholders to cooperate, but it has been difficult. Figures show that mobile listening in the UK has risen by a third - 22 percent - since 201-. The launch of this smartphone in just the right occasion, with both greater interest in mobile listening and many new channels, Dixon said.

LG Stylus 2 will initially be sold in the countries with DAB radio in operation primarily in Western Europe, and Australia. But also in countries like India where the choice of system is DRM rather than DAB. This indicates that the built-in multi-standard chip in the LG Stylus 2 besides the FM and DAB also supports the DRM and the HD Radio technology.


Radio listening in the world is dominated by two platforms; FM and Internet, which is available in almost all 210 countries. Terrestrial digital radio, which was launched in the mid-1990s as DAB and HD Radio has experienced a difficult time to gain acceptance by consumers. With the help of public funding including via public service radio as the BBC, DAB could be expanded at national level in the UK and Norway as well as some other Western European countries and Australia. It is above all the European public-service interest organization the EBU and the connected lobbying organization WorldDAB pushing for a technology shift from FM to DAB.

Sales of stand-alone radio receivers (kitchen radio, pocket radio etc.) has declined dramatically in recent years and has, inter alia, now put the British manufacturer of radio sets PURE  (several DAB models) on sale. More and more people are listening to the radio on their smartphones, which of course does not favor manufacturers of standalone receivers.

For radio, there are clear signs that FM radio will be replaced not by DAB but with online radio (including Apple CarPlay). Then, for survival the DAB system must also be found in mobile phones and smartphones. Will not larger manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung enable DAB by including this multi-standard chip in their smartphones, the end of DAB will be at the horizon. LG Stylus 2 best target right now will be in Norway, where the consumers next year are forced to switch from FM to DAB.

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