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INTERNATIONAL EDITION

Digital Radio
Mondiale
Drives Forward

February 2018
Sponsored by
The Heartbeat of High Power

High Frequency Innovation


Ampegon‘s transmission systems are fully customizable,
integrating flexibility, ease of use and the latest in DRM
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info@ampegon.com Science MedTech Industry Broadcast


4
What Is Local Radio’s
Digital Future?
Digital Radio
5
DRM — for Large Regions
Mondiale Drives
8
Convergence: Opportunity
or Dead End
Forward INTERN ATION AL EDITIO N

How has the Digital

9 Radio Mondiale digital


radio standard progressed Digital Radio
DRM Emergency Warning over the years, and what
Functionality Saves Lives are its prospects?
Mondiale
With recent major Drives Forward
12 installations taking place
in India and Hungary and
Commercial Stations’ a number of trials going
Marguerite
Digital Dilemma Clark on worldwide, broadcast-
Content Director ers are increasingly learn- Sponsored by
February 2018

13 ing how to best imple-


ment this digital radio technology, whether
DRM Goes Big on Two Continents for wide-range coverage or local reach.
They are also discovering the system’s additional functions, which include
14 using DRM to communicate with vulnerable populations in times of crisis
through its emergency warning system, as well as allowing users to provide
Digital: Catch All or Step by Step? supplementary information, such as traffic and weather updates by means
of datacasting.
16 This latest Radio World International eBook, sponsored by Digital Radio
Mondiale, explores DRM’s various applications, technical challenges, receiv-
The Potential of DRM Datacasting
er status and outlines DRM employment worldwide. It also provides insight
and advice from broadcasters and manufacturers on topics including the
19 standard’s datacasting potential; how to best approach receiver design;
emergency warning system functionality; when it is beneficial to use DRM
Listeners Want Choice, Possibilities
to cover smaller areas, such as was tested in South Africa and Indonesia, or
over vast regions, as achieved by All Air India.
20 In addition, this eBook features a compilation of recent blog articles writ-
DRM Advances Around the World ten by DRM Consortium Chairman Ruxandra Obreja. In these entries, Obreja
shares her thoughts on the global digital marketplace, as well as on various
pertinent issues that are influencing the radio industry and other media
21 today.
Digital Radio Mondiale for Radio World has published 41 eBooks exploring the many facets of radio
Local Coverage station and network operations, including mobile reporting, studio/trans-
mitter links, visual radio, studio apps, social media, consoles, digital radio
developments and more. Find them at www.radioworld.com/ebooks.
23 — Marguerite Clark
Podcast, Broadcast or Simulcast?

24
A Streamlined Approach to DRM
Receiver Design
DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD
Radio World International Edition | February 2018

3
Cover image: iStockphoto/Bartosz Hadyniak
What Is Local Radio’s
Digital Future?
It’s time to zero in on the medium’s importance
and facilitate its digital transition
By Ruxandra Obreja Nelson Mattos, an ex-Google executive, reinforced this
sentiment by indicating that he feels Facebook and Goo-
The author is chairman of Digital Radio Mondiale. gle have not yet successfully managed to engage with
relevant local content and that this point could possibly
Much attention has been placed lately on the words be one of their main future challenges.
“fake news.” Who would have thought that as the media The good news is that local radio is exactly that, local.
in general are trying to retain or regain the trust of the It speaks directly and immediately to the communities
public, fake news is giving a boost to local radio? it serves. During emergencies, local radio is often on the
BBC Director General Tony Hall surprised attendees at side of the heroes, as was demonstrated during the Man-
a local radio celebration, which took place in Coventry in chester bombing or the Grenfell fire in western London.
November, by citing fake news as the reason for repriev- Local stations, both public and commercial, were at the
ing BBC local radio of a $13 million budget cut. In battling center of the reporting, deftly changing schedules to
fake news, the BBC boss sees local radio as an essential accommodate stories and provide necessary information.
part of its role. “Local radio is in the DNA of our commu- We really shouldn’t be surprised then that, as in the
nities. I think it is more important than ever,” he said. FUTURE, continued on page 6 ❱

Local radio speaks directly to


the communities it serves.

www.flickr.com/photos/peraion

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

4
DRM — for Large
Regions
AM is being revitalized through Digital Radio Mondiale

GUESTCOMMENTARY
By Nigel Fry

The author is head of distribution for the BBC


World Service.

The BBC World Service, available on radio, TV


and online, is part of one of the largest news orga-
nization in the world, the BBC.
The weekly reach of the World Service on all
platforms accounted for 269 million (up from
246 million in 2015–16). Not long ago the World
Service announced its biggest expansion since
the 1940s, in a move designed to bring its independent South and South East Asia. Medium wave is of impor-
journalism to millions more people around the world, tance in the Arabic-speaking world and West Asia.
including in places where media freedom is under threat.
BENEFITS
Right from its late ’90s inception, the development
BBC’s largest shortwave markets of Digital Radio Mondiale was fully supported and
enhanced by the BBC World Service. DRM was seen as an
are West Africa, Central Africa and efficient replacement for the analog AM transmissions.
across South and South East Asia. When we consider scarcity of spectrum for new uses
Medium wave is of importance in the and appreciate the characteristics of the radio broadcast
bands, we recognize the tremendous properties these
Arabic-speaking world and West Asia. continue to offer broadcasters to deliver programs over
sometimes very large distances and areas or in difficult
terrain. Digitizing these bands with a system such as DRM
offers many more benefits to the audience and broad-
The World Service expansion includes new services in caster.
Afaan Oromo, Amharic, Gujarati, Igbo, Korean, Marathi, For example, we serve one of our markets with 32
Pidgin, Punjabi, Serbian, Telugu, Tigrinya and Yoruba — low-power FM transmitters (each with a radius of about
as well as enhancing existing services in Russia, Africa 40 km) and about 20 percent of the country is covered.
and around the Arab world. Apart from the electricity costs for these FM transmitters,
Large numbers of the BBC’s audience still need inter- there are operational costs to do with staffing, service
national radio broadcasts. Historically, people listened to and maintenance. In the future, one single DRM short-
BBC World Service in English and BBC language services wave transmitter using a near-vertical incidence and a
through shortwave radio for an impartial news service. power consumption of 6 kW could offer at least two very
And the audiences remain high; last year the World Ser- good audio services (plus data) and 100 percent territori-
vice radio audience was 154.5 million. The largest short- al coverage. Eight million households in cities and remote
wave markets are West Africa, Central Africa and across FRY, continued on page 6 ❱

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

5
❱ FUTURE, continued from page 4
tunes into local commercial radio every week, according
United Kingdom, radio is the frontrunner when it comes to the Radiocentre survey, but for the small commercial
to trust for most Europeans. It is notably ahead of both stations, the struggle is really uphill. Local stations equate
TV and the internet, with just one in three EU citizens say- targeted advertising, and the coverage area and targeted
ing he or she trusts the internet. population are generally tiny with proportionate reve-
Local radio is not lacking in challenges, however. Often, nue. Often, the importance of these stations is in inverse
what we value most about it is also the least tangible. proportion to their budgets.
The CEO of the U.K. commercial radio industry group What’s more, these local radio stations are now facing
Radiocentre said, on the back of its recent survey, “Break- the challenge of migrating to digital. At one point there
ing News: How Listeners Value Commercial Radio News,” was a scenario in which the big players could go digital,
which finds radio to be the U.K.’s most trusted medium, while the smaller stations were to remain anchored to
that “in the case of local information, news updates, com- the familiar invention of 1933 — FM.
munity and charity appeals … this contribution is not This scenario has become less acceptable in 2018, how-
always acknowledged or understood.” ever, and other solutions are now being tested. Digital
Radio Mondiale, for example, has a local coverage solu-
tion able to work in the FM band and also in the same
Being local also means radio Band III used by DAB+. In addition, small-scale DRM, or
local coverage DRM, allows for possible upgrading of
stations are often small and existing infrastructure, and, therefore, reasonable associ-
have few resources, even when ated costs.
they are part of national and Small-scale DRM has been tested in India, Brazil, Indo-
nesia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Pakistan and South Africa.
powerful broadcasting networks. Small-scale DAB is also being tested in various locations
relative to coverage area, spectrum savings and listen-
er acceptability. There are options for local stations if
(and when) they want or can go digital, and it is our job
to help ease the transition of these very much needed
So localism, the embodiment of what makes radio small, local stations.
unique, is like a vitamin, something that is good for us, This raises the question of the availability of multi-stan-
that we need more of in the fight against ignorance and dard receivers and their associated costs. Many profes-
malicious fake news. sionals are working toward achieving a solution and
But being local also means radio stations are often great strides have been made in recent months. But for
small and have few resources, even when they are part some, two standards mean more work, more costs and
of national and powerful broadcasting networks. If the more headaches.
broadcaster is public, then their future is somehow guar- Let me assure you, however, that while it’s true it takes
anteed, though they are under continuous examination time and investment to obtain positive results, like with
and financial consideration. mostly everything, the “negative” information some
It is true that about 50 percent of the U.K. population would like us to believe is, in fact, just “fake news.” n

❱ FRY, continued from page 5 and images, to complement programs offering thus an
areas could be covered and the support costs consider- enhanced experience to the listener.
ably reduced. Recommended by ITU, DRM digital broadcasting
Where medium-wave frequencies and sites exist, has been proven to work excellently in the shortwave
multi-channel (therefore multi-language, too) DRM and medium-wave bands. These bands remain key for
broadcasts can be offered at improved quality, with international broadcasting delivering services without
reduced energy bills and running costs. Unlike analog, constraints of local “gatekeepers,” in our case allowing
DRM allows one frequency to be used repeatedly for millions of people access to BBC News content free of
the same service over a large area (a single-frequency charge. The radio markets are still there, the need for
network), making more efficient use of the spectrum. good quality audio with data enhancements is there.
DRM can transform the quality of the services on the The BBC is keen to exploit DRM in order to deliver, to
AM bands to be clear and free of any of the interfer- key markets, BBC content free of gatekeepers in a form
ence and distortion. DRM provides text information that can be accessed easily. n

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

6
OEM SOLUTIONS FOR
DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE
Serving the Broadcast Equipment and Receiver Industry

BROADCAST EQUIPMENT
– Fraunhofer DRM ContentServer™ for audio encoding, data service management and multiplexing
– DRM Monitoring Receiver DT700 for on-air signal monitoring and recording

DRM RECEIVER SOFTWARE AND COMPONENTS


– DRM Chip Set and Receiver IP for SDR (Software-Defined Radio)
– Encoder and Decoder software modules for audio (incl. xHE-AAC),
data services, protocols, signalling and others
– NewsService Journaline core decoder kit
– Ready to use DRM MultimediaPlayer Radio App (Windows, iOS, Linux, Android)
including baseband and service layer decoding

SOLUTIONS FOR EFFICIENT RECEIVER DEVELOPMENT


– Fraunhofer Developer Solution (AM + VHF bands):
Fraunhofer DRM ContentServer™ – flexible and full-featured DRM multiplex generation for a complete test coverage
& DRM Test Equipment DT230 for lab on-air signal generation and channel simulation
– DCPServer Professional for an easy handling of DRM multiplex recordings

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS


Digital Broadcasting
Phone +49 9131 776-6175
amm-info@iis.fraunhofer.de
www.iis.fraunhofer.de/broadcast
Convergence: Opportunity
or Dead End
Digital radio can be a part of intelligent convergence if we give it a chance

By Ruxandra Obreja

I was recently invited to chair a “convergence and digi-


tal radio” session at an international “Asia meets Europe”
conference held in Romania.

www.flickr.com/photos/peraion
When I asked the audience how often they had sat
through such sessions in the past years, almost everyone
in the audience raised their hand. When I asked them to
define convergence in two or three words, there was no
rush.
As a notion, digital convergence has been around for This showed us that old media (TV and radio) couldn’t
at least 40 years. Nicholas Negroponte, the MIT guru, be entirely replaced by the internet or new media. At the
defined it some decades ago as being all about bits, or same time, though, old media would not be able to sur-
rather bits and bytes. Simply put, most of us understand vive in its splendid analog isolation.
digital convergence as combining multiple (digital) tech- Many thought radio was primed for a big fall to all
nologies into one. things internet. But this did not happen and in the
process the medium gained an aura of great resilience,
which is still strong today, despite the new threat from
digital services.
When I asked the audience to define Paradoxically, radio has always had inherent conver-
convergence in two or three words, gent attributes. Radio creates VR or AR in the mind; it is
there was a wave of silence. immersive (you can get lost in the story); it can be local-
ized, even personalized; and it uses (real, not artificial)
intelligence as it builds on the greatest of all media ingre-
dients: storytelling.
But in the new converged world, the younger — and
At first glance digital, converged technology allows not so young — listener or consumer is used to being
2.4 billion people to have instant access to the world’s part of the story, to engage and interact. And analog
knowledge, mainly on their smartphone, the ultimate radio cannot satisfy this newly acquired necessity.
converged “black box.” Others say that it is much more It is true that not everything one hears on the radio
than that: a process, a new way of understanding and needs to be reacted to, voted on or shared. It also means
engaging with the world. that there is a new relationship between being passively
Digital convergence is part of a much-repeated set entertained and actively engaged, impossible without
of labels that also includes phrases like the digital revo- “the bits and bytes.”
lution, virtual reality, augmented reality, hybrid reality, Digital convergence in 2017 is a fusion between new
artificial intelligence and so many more. It is a label but and old media with digital radio as part of the mix. Radio
also part of a reality in which Generation Z (those born is no longer just in the audio business but can produce
after 1995) are using digital formats at the expense of long-form text, use internet material, supplement the
traditional radio (at least in the United States). audio with pictures and even carry short live video (in
The idea of digital convergence did take a knock how- DRM this is called Diveemo), satisfying the need for
ever when the dot-com bubble burst in the late 1990s. CONVERGENCE, continued on page 10 ❱

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

8
DRM Emergency Warning
Functionality Saves Lives
In times of distaster, it’s mandatory to reach the entire population

GUESTCOMMENTARY who don’t speak the local language.


Digital Radio Mondiale can round
By Alexander Zink off the established set of national
tools for early warning dissemination.
The author is senior business development manager Radio receivers have long been a
for Digital Radio and Streaming Applications at core component of warning systems
Fraunhofer IIS. worldwide. Receivers can be battery-,
solar- or wind-up powered, and
When disasters are about to strike, getting the transmission infrastructure is both
message to everyone affected as quickly as possible easily secured against power losses
is of the utmost importance. Technical solutions need and can reach the affected area from outside. Radio
to be able to meet specific requirements for this and transmissions are often the last way to maintain contact
ensure reliability, even when the local infrastructure is with people in heavily hit areas, when local power, cell
down. In addition, everybody in a disaster area needs to and TV towers are gone.
be reachable, even people with impairments or visitors ZINK, continued on page 10 ❱

The diagram shows how DRM’s Emergency Warning Functionality works during emergencies.

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

9
❱ ZINK, continued from page 9 hearing impaired, as well as travellers who don’t speak
the local language through its multilingual support.
ENHANCED INFORMATION Journaline also carries an exact description of the
DRM’s support for Emergency Warning Functionality affected area to limit unwanted receiver switching.
allows digital radio sets to automatically switch from the On a technical level, implementing EWF functionality
current service to the emergency program when need- into any DRM receiver is not complicated, because EWF
ed, and even automatically switch on the emergency is a combination of standard functionalities that need to
program when on standby. In addition, the volume is be supported by any DRM receiver. It combines DRM’s
increased and the emergency state is visually indicated alarm announcement and alternative frequency signaling
(e.g. through a flashing screen or LED). In an emergency, and switching (AFS) with audio decoding and Journaline
a DRM digital radio set can wake up its user and provide presentation.
the required information. The same is true for cars and There is very little manufacturers need to do for the
mobile phones: Alerts and information will reach you receiver to be EWF compliant. Mainly, they just need
even if the car radio is off or when your mobile phone is to ensure the receiver is equipped with an automatic
disconnected from the internet. volume increase and visual alarm indication. To ensure
The emergency program via DRM consists of the audio that the automatic receiver wake-up functionality will be
announcement (e.g. a quickly repeated headline in a sin- available on the widest possible set of DRM receivers in a
gle language) plus accompanying text information based country, regulators are encouraged to mandate this ele-
on the standardized Journaline service component, a ment in addition to general DRM EWF support as part of
core DRM element. The structured text feature allows a policy for the receiver and automotive industry.
users to look up relevant information on the device’s On the transmission side, all modern DRM encoder
screen much quicker and in more detail than what would and multiplexer solutions today support EWF natively.
be available over audio channels. To issue alarm signaling (typically triggered by a nation-
This enhanced information can include locations and al authority) and to provide core information in audio
descriptions of shelters sorted by region, contact details and textual form to the DRM multiplexers for imme-
of public authorities, or general advice for before, during diate playout, many countries rely on the commonly
and after the event. The information can be dynamically deployed Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) protocol, or
updated and enhanced at any time as the situation its enhanced derivatives such as the Modular Warning
evolves. In addition, Journaline is designed to reach the System (MoWaS) standard in Germany. n

❱ CONVERGENCE, continued from page 8 you need for that? Probably no smartphone, 4G or IP
depth and raising curiosity. will wipe out direct terrestrial broadcasting to car radi-
Now how about the one single digital device pre- os, the standalone receivers and, one day, mobiles with
senting this diverse, digital content? The idea of the incorporated digital radio. It will just add to the many
unique and magic black box has already been proven ways in which interesting digital content reaches the
wrong. Digital radio can be delivered through digital listener.
TV but at a high cost. Digital TV cannot fully replace Convergence and aggregation at the level of content
radio, while it can carry it as part of its bouquet of dig- must be doubled by varied and appropriate digital
ital channels. Besides, have you ever thought of carry- distribution channels. There is not one single black box
ing your huge plasma TV in the shower to listen to the or one single cable or wave that is cheap, converged
morning show? and ready to solve all the ambitions of broadcasters
We can get emails on the phone but still use a lap- or users. The sooner broadcasters begin to implement
top with full internet and email features. Other better convergence where it works and stop trying to con-
boxes complement the one “black box.” While digital verge at any price, the better.
radio incorporated in mobiles but delivered terrestri- At the end of the conference session held in Septem-
ally remains a dream, digital radio delivered through ber, we concluded that convergence was new and old
the mobile networks is just a digital and money waste. woven with intelligence in new creative ways. We must
Mobile streaming has an astronomical price tag when hurry, though, as, according to Negroponte, “biotech
compared with the average cost of digital terrestrial is the new digital” and we are soon to ingest our infor-
broadcasting. mation.
A DRM transmitter, for example, can cover up to I, personally, am not ready to swallow my radio
thousands of kilometers. How many cell phones do yet. n

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

10
Commercial Stations’
Digital Dilemma
Why are they so attached to FM?

By Ruxandra Obreja as the BBC and, more recently, in Norway


by NRK.
For many commercial stations, the For them digital is very effective, espe-
dollar sign still shines brightly on the cially for national coverage. In the U.S.,
radio screen. Radio advertising revenue is the regulator (i.e., the FCC) mandated a
continuing to grow in the United States, U.S.-invented and owned digital solution
United Kingdom and many parts of the that has been embraced with varying
world. degrees of enthusiasm by the FM and AM
In the U.S., radio is the third most pow- stations. Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM),
erful medium reaching over half the pop- the latest digital radio standard, was first
ulation daily. The advertising revenue for devised as a clear-sound, multi-service
the country’s more than 10,000 AM and replacement for AM.
FM commercial stations was a staggering $14.71 billion in
2015. A good chunk, but still under a billion was delivered
by online advertising linked to the radio output.
Even in India, where there are under 300 commercial
The commercial radio sector has,
FM stations, with just another 400 run by the public in general, been less enthusiastic
broadcaster, the projection is a 10 percent increase in about getting involved in the
advertising revenue this year compared with 2016. Radio,
our good, local, intimate friend, at home or in the car, is
digital journey.
ubiquitous.
Advertisers like the medium’s simplicity, the fact that
they can target their messages locally. Its well-crafted DRM for medium wave and shortwave is being rolled
words and jingles establish a clear personal connection out in India, where its signal already reaches 600 million
that works. Radio does not depend on internet or even people. Six years ago, a second DRM mode that works
electricity. In the 1970s, FM was a revelation and, in many for all VHF bands was introduced. It has been tested
countries (including the U.S.), together with medium thoroughly on all continents (currently in South Africa).
wave, FM was and is doing very well, still. Pakistan is introducing it, but the driver is again the pub-
However, FM is spectrum- and energy-hungry. There lic broadcaster.
is this idea that, once you have invested in the infrastruc- The commercial radio sector, however, has been less
ture, are broadcasting a decent program and have lined enthusiastic about being involved in the digital journey.
up some advertisers with deep pockets, you are “made.” Why is this? Because FM works for them. In some parts of
After all, you are selling air or airtime, a very nice and the world, like Africa and India, FM is still the new kid on
cheap commodity and the business model is simple and the block.
well tested. Not all the features of digital radio are known or appre-
In parallel, in the last 10 to 15 years, the inventors and ciated. Digital radio requires knowledge, a new business
promoters of digital radio have tried to introduce a bet- model, investment, effort, passion and new affordable
ter, digital version of radio with energy and spectrum receivers. Commercial players, focused on “the here and
savings and more services and advantages. In Europe, 25 now,” know that their main requirement is to deliver
years ago, public broadcasters carried the baton. DAB/ increasing revenue and maintain their advertising share
DAB+ was promoted and introduced by big players such COMMERCIAL, continued on page 14 ❱

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

12
Part of the 2-megawatt Nautel system at Antenna Hungaria. Shown
from left to right are two of the five NX400 transmitters and the 2,000
kW combiner. On the extreme right is part of the original 40-year-old,
custom-built, vacuum-tube-based transmitter.

DRM Goes Big on


Two Continents
Antenna Hungaria and All India Radio update infrastructure with Nautel
By Wendell Lonergan transmission facility near Solt, Hungary. Claiming to be
the most powerful medium-wave broadcaster in Europe,
The author is head of broadcast sales for Nautel. He is also Antenna Hungaria chose Nautel to replace a 40-year-old,
sales manager, Europe and Russia custom-built vacuum-tube-based transmitter. The proj-
ect involved large infrastructure changes at the site as
Two large broadcasters, one in Hungary and one in well as installation of the new transmitter. Nautel person-
India, have recently adopted the Digital Radio Mondiale nel procured and managed the logistics of all third-party
digital radio standard. Antenna Hungaria and All India equipment from six countries; infrastructure updates,
Radio are now broadcasting in DRM to nearly 1 billion installation and commissioning were completed in 16
listeners, thanks to infrastructure updates using Nautel months.
MW transmitters. Nautel’s 2-megawatt transmitter comprises five sol-
In November 2017, a 2-megawatt, DRM-enabled Nau- id-state NX400 transmitters and a 2,000 kW combiner
tel transmitter went on the air at Antenna Hungaria’s feeding a single antenna. Building the world’s first 2,000
kW combiner gave Nautel’s engi-
neers a design challenge they say
they “tackled with enthusiasm.”
The result was the new NXC2000
combiner, which can be reconfig-
ured if one or more transmitters
NAUTEL, continued on page 15 ❱

More of the Antenna Hungaria


2-megawatt system. Transmitters
shown from left to right are the
2,000 kW combiner and three of the
five NX400 transmitters with 6-inch
hard lines shown above.

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

13
Digital: Catch All
or Step by Step?
What is the best and surest way to digitize radio?
by Ruxandra Obreja broadcasting. And there
are also different possible
Digital radio standards celebrate different milestones, digitization models. Is it
as they are at different stages of their life and develop- better to start in the big
ment. cities and then digitally
DAB is 21, HD Radio was born in 2001 and Digital Radio colonize the rest of the
Mondiale has just become a teenager, with 2003 as its country? Or should we go
birth year. for complete country cov-
But digital radio as a whole is still in its formative years. erage (big city and small Digital Radio Mondiale demon-
As demonstrated during the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting village in one go) using strates DRM digital radio in a car
during the BES conference in India.
Union (ABU) General Assembly, the Caribbean Broadcast- existing AM and VHF
ing Union (CBU) General Assembly in October, as well as capabilities?
at various African events, many developing countries are Each option seems to have its merits. If you start with
just starting to focus on radio digitization. the big cities, you can show some quick wins, as the num-
Many administrations have quickly discovered that dig- ber of listeners will be good and advertising, read “reve-
itizing radio is not simple, as there is no clear and “juicy” nues,” will be healthy, too. The disadvantage is that, as you
digital dividend at the end of the process. Unlike digital are trying to spread the digital jam all over the country,
TV, where there is a standard consensus, in radio there every new percentage in coverage or listeners’ number
are different options and models, not to speak of a per- becomes increasingly expensive. Unless there is some
ceived competition between standards. substantial government intervention and support, or some
Then IP, or even DTT, are sometimes thrown into the other more economical, easier to implement solution,
mix and touted as possible replacements for terrestrial some communities might remain digital outcasts.

❱ COMMERCIAL, continued from page 12 They simply want their audio wherever they are and
in a crowded market with few spaces for newcomers. whenever they are not using other platforms.
The 100-kHz bandwidth delivers two to three audio And while radio advertising revenue might be hold-
channels and one data channel in DRM for local cover- ing up, listening time on analog gradually is decreas-
age on VHF, instead of the current single FM program. ing. Between 2013 and 2107 radio listening in the
When compared to FM, this results in less spectrum U.K. has dropped approximately 10 percent. Research
usage, a lower electricity bill, the same or better cover- shows that a successful commercial station that stands
age, more channels for more content and advertising still for up to five years is doomed.
slots, as well as capacity, to sublet to newcomers and Change might mean new formats, new presenters,
increase revenue. new streaming and online “bells and whistles” but also
Commercial operators are cautious and watching all new technology and investment in digital broadcast-
experiments very carefully. They will not invest in new ing. Digital is not the enemy but an acquaintance ready
technologies unless the benefits are clear. Often, they to turn into a friend and ally.
expect the government, or other broadcasters, to offer Fortunately, some commercial broadcasters have
incentives in the form of money and licensing advan- applied this strategy. The latest official figures in the
tages, doubled by a clean digital switchover decisions. U.K. show that — thanks to digital — for the first time
In this equation only the listeners are the unknown in nearly a century of radio broadcasting, commercial
and unpredictable element. They do not care if a big radio has overtaken the BBC. As we say in DRM, digital
multiplex is expensive or that radio can save spectrum. delivers! n

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

14
age. India has done it as 600 million people are covered
by digital signals. But, even there, the fine-tuning of
the transmissions and the content enhancement is just
beginning. It is a project that needs to involve journalists,
planners, advertisers, the industry and listeners in its next
stage.
So, wholesale or piecemeal? The easy answer could be:
It depends. If you want to offer digital radio to 2 million
Slovenes, perhaps going concentrically is acceptable. If
you want to do the same with over 1 billion people or
even in a country with a population of more than 100
million spread over a large territory, the decision may be
different.
The path taken depends on a lot of criteria, budgets,
political resolve and might go one way or another or be
a combination of the two, which is just fine. However,
beyond technologies, what must underpin such a deci-
sion is the answer to a much deeper question: Are all citi-
zens entitled to the same services, regardless of whether
they live in big cities, small towns or on islands? Is each
government ready to treat everyone equally, even if this
might take money and time?
There are no easy answers, but then digital radio is
The big challenge is not how to start digitizing but quickly becoming an adult, leaving its teenage years
how to bring it to a successful conclusion in a reasonable behind. This, of course, brings with it responsibilities
period. This is the experience in the United Kingdom, and — hopefully — the ability to make responsible deci-
where DAB is finally well established but at a cost, after sions. n
a false start. This hard work is not rewarded yet with a
switch-off date, though it might not be so far away. The
incremental coverage has an impact on the car industry, ❱ NAUTEL, continued from page 13
too. If a country does not have large, continuous and are shut down, ensuring that maximum power is
demonstrable digital coverage, the city dwellers will be always delivered to the antenna.
easily disappointed once they jump in their cars and start According to Nautel, the NX2000 system brings
on their journey to go see grandma in the smaller town efficiency — 90 percent AC-to-RF — and “significant
or village. power savings” to an operation that had been run-
As a DRM proponent, I see the decision to ensure good ning at only 55 to 60 percent efficiency with its older
and complete coverage of a territory as the better solu- equipment. Control and monitoring are accom-
tion. Even so, this has its own pitfalls and challenges. AM plished via Nautel’s Advanced User Interface.
digitization can offer total coverage at a stroke. However, On the Asian continent, India’s All India Radio
AM is, for some less informed people, an old-fashioned recently added to the most extensive DRM transmis-
analog solution with poor sound and high energy costs. sion project in the world, expanding its high-power
The truth is that digital AM is a different proposition that MW broadcasts to 33 facilities across the country.
delivers perfect, FM, or better than FM sound, with ener- With the goal of bringing digital radio to nearly a
gy savings of up to 60 to 80 percent. billion residents of India, Prasar Bharati and Nautel’s
And of course, DRM has also a good, FM-band digi- in-country partner Comcon installed DRM-enabled
tization solution. But then the receiver question arises, transmitters ranging from 100 kW to 300 kW in
though these digital receivers clearly are appearing. It power.
is also certain that no matter what standard is involved, Nautel says the transition from analog to digital
receivers will not be produced if there are no digital sig- broadcasting has allowed AIR to use alternate plat-
nals on air. And if there are plenty of receivers, but patchy forms such as podcasting, SMS, webcasting and
digitization, then those receivers won’t sell. mobile services and has enabled a 24-hour news
For governments and stakeholders to take a wholesale channel along with other programming. AIR contin-
decision and to implement digital radio for the good of ues to add services to its operation. n
all the citizens in a country is a big act of faith and cour-

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

15
The Potential of
DRM Datacasting
A cost-effective solution for distributing special application data

GUESTCOMMENTARY satellite, mobile).


Furthermore, many existing ana-
log transmitters can efficiently be
By Jens Schroeder upgraded to digital transmission,
enabling the opportunity to create
The author is managing director for RFmondial. new markets.
In the following several applica-
Digital radio transmissions can be used as an tions of datacasting, the technical
efficient and cost effective solution for providing solution as well as various experi-
data services to single users, specific regions or vast ences from the field are described.
areas. In this context, the DRM system can be seen
as a point-to-multipoint digital data channel, called DATACASTING APPLICATIONS
DRM datacasting. The main advantage of DRM datacasting lies in its
There are several reasons why DRM broadcasting can exploitation of the inherent broadcasting concept, i.e.
be the technology of choice. These include: providing data that serve many customers. In the mari-
time context, nautical and weather data, safety informa-
COSTS tion, but also general data like training material or info-
DRM broadcasting can simply be cheaper than a tainment can be transmitted.
dedicated satellite link: A BGAN 64 kbps stream with For maritime and landline applications, the provision of
a net data rate of approximately 40 kbps results in differential GNSS information is necessary for high-preci-
costs of about US$5 per minute per reception. DRM sion localization information. Farming, marine navigation,
shortwave with a guaranteed bitrate of 40 kbps costs offshore construction, autonomous driving and others
approximately $5 per minute as well; however, the signal can benefit from receiving the differential information
can be received by all receivers within the service area via DRM. Further examples for datacasting are digital
and increases the profitability the more receivers are signage as well as energy load management and street
involved, e.g. for naval fleets. lighting control. A direct integration of DRM with relevant
standards (e.g. ECDIS, GRIB, AIS, RTCM) has been proven
SERVICE AREA to be applicable. Of course, audio can always be transmit-
As satellite data services are rarely available at high lati- ted in parallel to the data channels.
tudes, DRM transmission can be the only service, which
can provide data links to these areas. TECHNICAL SOLUTION
Furthermore, in many cases where no satellite anten- As DRM has been developed with such applications in
nas can be installed due to technical or esthetic reasons mind, the technical implementation is straightforward.
on the reception site (e.g. sailing boats), shortwave The desired data can either be integrated in one of the
antennas are already present. existing data services like Journaline or Slideshow or be
sent via a transparent IP-channel. If desired, the trans-
INFRASTRUCTURE MODEL mission can be encrypted including a conditional access
DRM transmitter infrastructure can be self-operated for single users and groups. DRM furthermore provides a
from a friendly location. Nevertheless, any area world- fully integrated disaster and early warning service called
wide can be reached from such a station, without being Emergency Warning Functionality (EWF).
dependent on a third-party infrastructure operator (e.g. DATACASTING, continued on page 18 ❱

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

16
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A typical DRM datacasting setup for a
maritime application providing weather and
maps to a fleet of ships.

❱ DATACASTING, continued from page 16

After receiving and decoding the DRM signal, the data sea ice stage), NAVTEX, Marine Safety Information (MSI)
are available via standard interfaces (e.g. Wi-Fi, LAN, seri- Bulletins, NOAA data buoy, and Automated Identification
al) and can be connected to the respective application. System (AIS), Application Specific Messages (ASM), virtual
The illustration above shows a typical setup for providing aids to navigation, along with the latest news and sports.
nautical data to a fleet of ships. The received data is both integrated into the vessel’s
Electronic Chart System (ECS) and provided in a brows-
DRM DATACASTING IN THE FIELD er-based application. The participants are excited to read
Various applications have already been implemented, the latest news and weather forecast on their cell phones
others are under investigation. Some examples are listed without having to utilize expensive satellite links. If suc-
in the following, technically supported by Media Broad- cessful, the USCG will investigate bringing the system in
cast, Fraunhofer, and RFmondial: operation.

•C  rew infotainment on several frigates of the German CONCLUSION


Navy as well as on a cruise ship passing the Northwest DRM datacasting is a powerful option for providing
Passage and a cargo vessel from Hamburg (Germany) to cost-effective data services for a variety of special appli-
Shanghai (China) cations, which benefit from the point-to-multipoint capa-
• Data transmission with the German Navy for submarines bility of modern digital long-, medium- and shortwave
•D  ifferential GPS on DRM long- and shortwave in Germa- transmissions. n
ny for farming and autonomous driving

A trial project is
being conducted
by the United States
Coast Guard (USCG),
investigating the Next
Generation Arctic
Navigational Safety
Information System
(ANSIS) using existing
infrastructure trans-
mitting to the North-
west Passage.
A wide range of
information is broad-
cast such as detailed
weather maps (e.g.
current, surface, wind),
Screenshots of the USCG trial are shown. Pictured left is the ECS system. At right is the browser-based
ice maps (e.g. daily application.

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

18
Listeners Want Choice,
Possibilities
Digital has to be flexible and dynamic to follow consumers’
shifting taste and offer innovative content
By Ruxandra Obreja

When digital radio was launched


— in some cases before the internet
took a foothold — its main selling
point was excellent digital audio
quality. Today, however, it is the
combination of services digital radio

www.flickr.com/photos/peraion
offers that makes it attractive to
consumers.
Digital radio has had trouble
catching the listeners’ imagination
or making large enough strides to
meaningfully replace analog. The
reasons are many. These include no digital dividend, According to annual figures published by the United
increased costs during the simulcast (analog-digital) tran- Kingdom regulator, Ofcom, 16- to 24-year-olds spent
sition period and, sometimes, simply resistance to the 29 percent of their audio listening time tuning in to live
multiplex option. radio in 2015, compared with 71 percent for all adults.
Furthermore, the initial lack of interest from the car And the general listening time per week has fallen in
industry, no new innovative content and hazy messaging a decade by five hours from 20 to 15. All this despite
have not helped matters. After all, FM is ubiquitous, resil- “more choice” but also while radio is trying to keep its
ient and offers abundant and cheap receivers. Listeners place among a number of proliferating platforms, fully
don’t care if FM isn’t spectrum-efficient, has limited cov- embraced by the younger generation.
erage and can be costly, while still cheaper than being So it looks like young people do have more choice, but
part of a digital multiplex. Generally, listeners think FM they are also more selective. Studies prove that their par-
audio quality is good enough, if what is on offer is attrac- ents are not very different, either.
tive to them. The interesting part of the recent Ofcom data is that in
Promoters of digital radio have to be very clear and 2016, between April and June (in the pre-Brexit period),
compelling in their messages about the benefits of com- U.K. listeners of all ages flocked to the main BBC speech
pleting the digital migration. These advantages will be channel, the news and sport channel and the new music
different for broadcasters (energy efficiencies and more one. These are not exclusively digital channels. The fig-
valued added services), regulators (spectrum savings), the ures show that listeners have shifting allegiances and
industry (new products with the multi-standard receiver that when there is a big news story they want context.
having the opportunity of being sold in billions) and then When they want music they want something different
the listeners. and new. Digital has to be flexible enough to follow the
We often hear that digital offers more choice. But what shifting taste and offer something amazing. It needs to
does choice mean? For some it signifies more music and enhance the audio with extra information, pictures and
niche stations. Digital certainly allows for experimenta- data to satisfy the curiosity of the new selective listeners.
tion. One-day pop-up stations are a fantastic opportunity Just duplicating analog in digital is not enough.
to promote an event or attract young people to radio But how many people know that one’s digital radio
and radio journalism. CHOICE,continued on page 20 ❱

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

19
DRM Advances
Around the World
As India pursues rollout, other countries continue to test the standard

By Radu Obreja development within the Southern Africa Development


Community. The Communications Regulator Association
Digital Radio Mondiale has recently made significant of Southern Africa has analyzed and concluded that DRM
advances worldwide, in Asia specifically, it has made can help broadcasters enhance their programs and dis-
great strides. seminate news, education and entertainment in the best
In India, for example, the world’s largest DRM rollout is sound quality.
taking place. The country’s public broadcaster, During 2017, the first DRM tests for local coverage on
All India Radio, has deployed and com- the African continent were carried out by communi-
missioned 35 medium-wave and four ty radio station Koffifi FM in VHF Band II in Johan-
shortwave transmitters nationwide. nesburg. Radio Pulpit, located in Pretoria, con-
AIR broadcasts in simulcast as well ducted a medium-wave DRM test in 2015 and
as in pure DRM and is estimated to 2016 and submitted the results to the ITU.
reach some 600 million people. In Europe, Russia has organized several tri-
In addition, Pakistan’s public als in AM and most recently in VHF on Band
broadcaster Pakistan Broadcasting II. Officials in the country say they are inter-
Corp. installed a transmitter at its ested in assessing how DRM can be deployed
headquarters in Islamabad in 2017 and in large cities and in areas in the north.
began testing DRM for local coverage on On the receiver side,
VHF. The broadcaster says it is also consider- there has been major
ing using DRM in the AM Band. progress. India-based
Finally, from 2015 to 2017, Indonesia’s Radio Republik Avion Electronics Inc.
Indonesia tested DRM in AM and FM for local and large, now manufactures
regional coverage. a DRM receiver, and
In other parts of the world, 15 countries in Southern an important step
Africa are cooperating on social, political and media has been made in
the development of
❱ CHOICE, continued from page 19
Software Defined Radio,
(DAB or DRM) not only provides good audio but based on Android and
can also offer content in several languages (as available on tablets, which
demonstrated on DRM receivers), pictures of albums, can be implemented in receivers
singers, politicians, and sports people, information globally. United States-based Titus SDR Inc. is working
feeds from the internet, stock exchange data, health, on such a product. In addition, Chinese firm Gospell has
weather, emergency information and so much more? developed a multi-standard DRM receiver, which also
The choice is there and listeners would be inter- supports the DRM Emergency Warning Functionality.
ested — if they knew about it. Rather than promote As regards in-car advances, in India — and thanks to
individual standards or receiver brands, digital radio the swift DRM rollout there — the automotive industry
needs to become synonymous with relevant and has begun to introduce cars with line-fit DRM receivers.
special content. This undertaking costs money, but Brands that offer models with DRM receivers include
until digital content becomes attractive enough to Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra. More car brands
listeners they might just choose to stick with FM. n are currently working on placing DRM receivers in their
cars. n

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

20
Digital Radio Mondiale
for Local Coverage
DRM allows for green and efficient solutions in the FM band
with extra benefits and revenue
By Ruxandra Obreja and Alexander Zink

Ruxandra Obreja is DRM chairman. Alexan-


der Zink is senior business development man-
ager for Digital Radio and Streaming Applica-
tions at Fraunhofer IIS.

Radio’s main attribute remains its localism.


The Digital Radio Mondiale Standard can
be used in all frequency bands (in the AM
and VHF bands) with the same features and
benefits, such as extra capacity to carry addi-
tional programs, free text news, traffic and
emergency warning information.
The DRM mode in the VHF bands above
The FM spectrum in Batam after the FM transmitter at 105.1 MHz was converted to
LOCAL, continued on page 22 ❱ DRM/FM simulcast operation.

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Multiplexer, Audio Encoder (ContentServer)
Exciters & Modulators incl. SFN
Monitoring & Measurement Receivers
Distributed Monitoring & Archiving Systems
Livewire Audio Nodes
Field Trials, Consulting, Design Services
Digital Standards: DRM, DAB, HD-Radio

Products are available as stand-alone or for licen-


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mail info@rfmondial.com
phone +49 (511) 762 19704

RFmondial_RW_178_5bx127h.indd 1 11.01.2018 12:19:37


❱ LOCAL, continued from page 21

30 MHz (including the widely used


FM band), sometimes referred to as
“DRM+,” has been recommended by
the ITU since 2011 and tested on all
continents. It is tailored for local cov-
erage (large and small cities), as well
as regional coverage. Within the band-
width of a single analog FM program,
two DRM transmissions (96 kHz each)
with a total of six audio programs plus
multimedia applications can be broad-
cast.
Just like the established FM trans-
missions in the past, DRM maintains
broadcaster-controlled transmissions,
targeting groups of listeners in a specif-
ic area in their own language.
The predicted coverage area of the digital DRM portion (at about 200 W) of the DRM/
By migrating to DRM, broadcasters FM simulcast.
can enhance the current analog trans-
missions in the VHF band II (i.e. the FM band) without one of the high-power FM transmitters to DRM simulcast
interrupting the ongoing and still revenue-generating operation with a small plug-in module.
analog FM services. As recent trials have demonstrated, The conclusion of RRI’s Batam trial is that DRM does
DRM services can be successfully between high-power not interfere with the nearby FM transmissions, is spec-
analog FM services in situations where the FM band trum and power efficient and can enhance the capacity
seemed completely full. Thanks to DRM’s simulcast of the FM band even where it seems fully occupied. The
capability to broadcast analog FM and digital DRM ser- full report can be found here.
vices simultaneously from the same transmitter, existing Another DRM demonstration in the FM band took place
broadcast infrastructure can cost-efficiently be upgrad- in Johannesburg in 2017 by the Kofifi community FM sta-
ed, and broadcasters stay in full control of their own tion. Two programs plus a community oriented Journaline
broadcast infrastructure (studios, transmitters, antennas) service were carried on the 97.2 kHz frequency.
without having to rely on third-party multiplex services. The technical objectives to acquire evidence of no
The most recent tests of DRM for local coverage have interference with adjacent FM channels and evaluate
taken place in South Africa and Indonesia. After having the propagation characteristics have thus far been suc-
verified DRM’s performance in the medium-wave band, cessfully achieved. Measurements confirmed a similar
the public Indonesian broadcaster RRI tested DRM for or better service availability than FM reception without
local coverage in simulcast mode in the FM Band II on the interference. It was demonstrated that the existing FM
island of Batam, just opposite Singapore, after upgrading spectrum can accommodate a larger number of addition-
al DRM channels (with up to three
programs each) without impacting
existing analog stations. A draft
report can be read here.
FM broadcasters realize that
to keep up with modern digital
media and to secure their audienc-
es and revenues in the future, they
need to innovate while bringing
down costs. DRM is the right tool
for a smooth transition from ana-
log FM services to digital offerings
for a modern listenership; thus
DRM also allows broadcasters to
tap into new revenue sources. n
The actual measured coverage.

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

22
Podcast, Broadcast
or Simulcast?
Is costly internet access for many users worldwide
hindering accessibility to new platforms?
By Ruxandra Obreja

On a recent trip to Nigeria, I had the chance to meet


many well-informed professionals. One young man who
works for a multi-national company told me that his data
plan, which allows him access to the internet on a mobile,
exceeds the country’s average monthly salary.
When I asked him how young people in Nigeria obtain
news, he explained that it was common for them to listen
to the radio in the morning and then go to the internet
later in the day for only a few minutes (to avoid reaching
the monthly limit) to get updates. They subsequently
disseminate the most important news via WhatsApp or
Twitter to those who don’t have internet access at all.
This is just one example of why radio and terrestrial Pictured from left are Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium chairman;
George Ross, TWR Media Services account executive; and Alexander
broadcasting may not be as endangered as some would Zink, senior business development manager at Fraunhofer IIS and
like to make us believe. The internet, mobiles and all the vice chair, DRM Consortium.
new platforms are popular, disruptive, even sometimes
addictive; but they cannot fully replace radio or TV. Radio is here to stay, and the cyclical announcements
In fact, radio is still the top source of information across and debates about its demise are highly exaggerated,
36 African countries, according to Afrobarometre, with while, of course, they shouldn’t be ignored. The medi-
about half of the population using radio as the primary um needs to invest in its strong points and go digital in
information source, even if daily usage is not increasing order to enrich the same great qualities that have always
in some countries and decreasing in a few. defined it — portability, immediacy, quality, adaptability
Radio listening in the United Kingdom is on the and innovation — with the added choice of multimedia
increase, and radio advertising in India demonstrated an options.
uptrend in 2015. So, it appears a little premature to elim- Take the example of India, where DRM is delivered to
inate breakfast radio from one’s phone to make place for nearly 50 percent of the population and listeners now
Spotify. have access to additional programs and music, when
While a narrative on the way all things related to before they had a limited selection. FM today cannot
broadband (including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, radio-free dash- offer this same choice, nor can the approximately 1 bil-
boards in cars) is taking over the world and may turn lion Indian mobiles on the market.
heads, the fact of the matter is that, according to Edison While the availability of digital receivers is still a chal-
Research, FM/AM radio is still being used by 84 percent lenge, how great it would be if listeners could access
of motorists in the United States, while only 21 percent this new content on mobiles free of charge and not via
listen to the radio online. expensive data plans?
There is a lot of data predicting rising levels of data In the U.K. it is possible for listeners to get all the radio,
usage by the mobile industry. But how valid is this infor- television and online services the BBC provides for as lit-
mation? We are told that for the BBC, for instance, distri- tle as just under US$1. But that is, unfortunately, only the
bution over the internet is predicted to be on par but not exception. Giant steps still need to be taken in order to
to overtake the airwaves before circa 2027. offer the equivalent in other parts of the world. n

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

23
A Streamlined Approach
to DRM Receiver Design
Software defined radio turns digital radio reception into an application

GUESTCOMMENTARY In some cases,


it makes sense to
optimize the soft-
By Martin Speitel and Alexander Zink ware for processor
families to reduce
Martin Speitel is head of Infotainment Group at the overall system
Fraunhofer IIS. Alexander Zink is senior business devel- power and extend
opment manager for Digital Radio and Streaming battery lifetime. Still,
Applications at Fraunhofer IIS. the well-tested and
field-proven soft-
Software Defined Radio (SDR) turns the hardwired, ware that encapsu-
task-specific and very elaborate chip development of the lates all digital radio functionality can easily be ported to
past into a flexible software-based design running on a the next generation of hardware. Existing products can
generic, efficient and mass-produced hardware platform. be enhanced to support future functional upgrades or
It is not a new concept, but it is becoming a reality in even completely new radio standards.
more and more technical systems. Digital radio receivers Especially in the production chain of car radio sys-
are one major example for SDR technology, because tems, the selection of the final software components,
which are typically dependent on the target market and
required feature set, can be carried out at the end of the
production line. This prevents the time-consuming need
In consumer radios, the SDR to swap hardware components, or the costs involved
technology offers the ability to with provisioning multiple hardware options. Even after
implement multiple radio standards the shipment of a car to the customer, the radio system
can be upgraded with latest features over the vehicle’s
on the same hardware. extensive lifetime.
In consumer radios, the SDR technology offers the
possibility to implement multiple radio standards on
the same hardware. This allows for a low-cost hardware
modern processor platforms offer enough computing production on a mass scale, even if the devices need to
power to build almost the complete radio functionality in support different radio standards in different markets.
software. Likewise, the addition of DRM functionality to existing
hardware platforms has proven that the extra effort —
ADVANTAGES and thus cost to support DRM on those products — is
This approach offers great advantages for both the drastically reduced compared with new developments
radio architecture itself and the companies developing from scratch.
and using the radio receiver technologies. The software In the current world of mobile phones, analog FM
development becomes widely decoupled of the hard- reception is a feature in several markets. It grants users
ware development. The selection of software vendors is access to latest information without the need for expen-
independent of the providers of the underlying hardware sive data plans or mobile network coverage typically only
platform. found in big cities.

DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

24
INTERNATIONAL EDITION
February 2018
AN APPLICATION www.radioworld.com
This is particularly true for emerging markets in Asia, Africa and South
America, which are of high interest to the industry due to their growth FOLLOW US
potential. For those markets, the addition of DRM reception in the FM band www.twitter.com/radioworld_news

can easily be designed into upcoming phones as no hardware changes are www.facebook.com/RadioWorldMagazine

required. Even DRM networks for large-area coverage in the AM bands are CONTENT
supported through USB plugins. Managing Director, Content Paul J. McLane,
Thanks to DRM’s SDR approach, digital radio reception effectively pmclane@nbmedia.com
Content Director Marguerite Clark
becomes an application — but one that is independent of IP traffic and rwieditor@nbmedia.com
mobile network infrastructure. This presents a major USP to mobile phone Senior Content Producer — Technology Brett Moss,
manufacturers, for whom it has become increasingly difficult to compete on bmoss@nbmedia.com
Content Manager Emily M. Reigart,
other relevant features due to the uniformly deployed Android platform. ereigart@nbmedia.com
In future, customers will quickly demand DRM digital radio support when Technical Advisors Thomas R. McGinley, Doug Irwin
selecting new phones the same way they demand analog FM support today. Technical Editor, RWEE W.C. “Cris” Alexander
Contributors: Argentina: Jorge J. Basilago; Australia:
This is thanks to DRM’s free-to-air services with all their added-value fea- James Cridland; Belgium: Marc Maes; Canada: James
tures, such as Journaline advanced text services, EWF Emergency Warning Careless; Estonia: Urmas Loit; Finland: Tapani Ranki;
France: Emmanuelle Pautler; Greece: Panos Polyzoidis,
Andreas Tzanakos; Hong Kong: Martyn Green;
Hungary: Drew Leifheit; India: Frederick Noronha;
Indonesia: Mark Timpany; Ireland: Kevin Branigan;
Italy: Davide Moro, Giuseppe Camonita; Kenya: Gregory
Lagat; Malawi: Lameck Masina; Malta: Charles Flores;
Morocco: Sébastien Nègre; Poland: Cesco van Gool;
Portugal: Nuno de Sousa; Serbia: Blazo Guzina;
Singapore: Patricia Lee; Spain: Raúl Llarull; Turkey:
Tayfun Kesgin; United Kingdom: Lawrie Hallett, Will
Jackson, Andy Bantock; John Masuku
Production Manager Caroline Freeland
Art Director Karen Lee

ADVERTISING SALES
VP/Market Expert, AV/Consumer
Electronics, Education & Pro Audio
Adam Goldstein, agoldstein@nbmedia.com,
212-378-0465
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Eric Trabb, etrabb@nbmedia.com, 212-378-0400 x532
A screenshot of the Fraunhofer MultimediaPlayer radio app under Android, combining baseband VP/Market Expert, Broadcasting,
decoding for DRM (AM and VHF bands), DAB(+), and analog AM and FM with a full-featured service Cable & Broadband TV
layer decoder. Charlie Weiss, cweiss@nbmedia.com, 212-378-0478

REPRINTS/PERMISSIONS
Functionality, and increased diversity of program offerings at a significantly This magazine may not be reproduced or quoted
improved quality. in whole or in part by printed or electronic means
Finally, professional equipment, such as monitoring receivers, measure- without written permission from NewBay. To obtain
permissions, contact Wright’s Media, 877-652-5295.
ment systems or head-ends for in-house radio distribution, benefit greatly
from SDR implementations, as they can constantly be upgraded to follow
the latest standard upgrades and continuous feature enhancements.
President and CEO Steve Palm
In summary, the SDR approach for digital radio reception helps bring Chief Financial Officer Paul Mastronardi
down cost and at the same time speeds up the development of versatile Chief Revenue Officer Tom Rousseau
and feature-rich radio receivers. Its benefits apply to all classes of receiv- Chief Content Officer Joe Territo
Controller Rick Ng
ers — from professional equipment to low-cost kitchen radios and mobile EVP/Content & Business Operations Carmel King
solutions. It enables manufacturers with flexibility and constantly growing VP/Digital Media Robert Ames
maturity, which is hard to achieve with a traditional, hardware-centric radio VP/NewBay Plus Joe Braue
Managing Director/Europe Mark Burton
architecture. The SDR approach is a key component for the availability of VP/Audience Development Meg Estevez
affordable and complete DRM radio sets and receiver solutions. n VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona
VP/Information Technology Anthony Verbanac
Contact: engage@nbmedia.com

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DIGITAL RADIO MONDIALE DRIVES FORWARD


Radio World International Edition | February 2018

25