Sunday 16 September 2018

Russia Goes DRM. Setback for DAB Radio Promoters.

DRM is making global progress but still DAB has its grip in Europe.
New digital broadcasting standards are being introduced in Russia. The frequency bands 65.9-74 MHz and 87.5-108 MHz will be allocated for use by digital terrestrial broadcasting of the DRM+ standard. This will have a significant impact on the development of the broadcasting market in the country, according to the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications. Russia is the second major nation after India to introduce DRM on a national level.

The implementation of the DRM+ standard significantly increases the efficiency of the use of radio frequency resources. The standard allows you to enter additional data services, including text, statistical images, the Traffic Message Channel (TMC), and also provides the ability to use the Emergency Warning Function (EWF). With DRM+, the number of radio channels is almost doubled, and the operating costs and payback periods of new equipment are reduced by reducing the required transmitter power and the available capability of their operation in a single-frequency network (SFN), which leads to additional energy savings.

The introduction of the new standard does not require changing the frequency planning adopted in Russia and allows integration into the global information system without additional costs writes the agency.

Before recommending a standard for use in Russia, FSUE RTRS jointly with the St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications conducted research work, during which the claimed in the standard characteristics of the DRM+ system were confirmed, field tests were conducted in the modes of fixed and mobile reception of the DRM+ signal in the radio frequency bands 65.9-74 MHz and 87.5-108 MHz, service areas were estimated with the transmitter power selected, laboratory studies of the required radio frequency protection ratios at the receiver input were made.

Read more (Document in Russian)
В России ввели новые цифровые стандарты радиовещания

Russia has been involved in DRM developments for many years. Voice of Russia is an international broadcaster with DRM30 on shortwave. Among other major broadcasters with DRM30 are BBC, Radio France International, All India Radio, China International and Radio New Zeeland.

For terrestrial digital radio there are various systems in use today. DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) is the brand name of the system used in mainly Europe while another system developed in Europe DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) has its strongest user development in Africa and Asia especially in India, HD Radio in Mexico & the U.S., ISDB-T in Japan. China has developed its own digital radio standard CDR (much alike DRM).  Adding to this is DVB-T2 Lite which is a spin-off from the digital terrestrial television system DVB-T2. Upcoming is also the online broadcast system LTE Broadcast fo mobile devices.

DRM+ is used for the FM band (VHF II) and the lower VHF I, while DRM30 is on
HF, MF and LF (shortwave, mediumwave and longwave) bands. HD Radio is using the FM band and HF/MF while DAB is only on the VHF III band 174-240 MHz. The lower the frequency is the better the geographical reach. DRM will have a superior transmitter coverage compared with DAB. This is a major reason why vast area countries like India, Russia, India, China, Canada and Brazil will not go for DAB.

DRM is a European developed system but still there is no regular DRM+ broadcasting on the FM band in Europe in spite of being a more modern technology than DAB (introduced 1995). DRM has not been trialed in Norway and was not considered by the authorities prior to the political decision to replace national FM with DAB in Norway.

Read more about digital radio
Q&A - Digital or FM
What Is DRM?

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