Analysis

RadioScape to support Digital Radio switch-on in France

19th March 2007
ES Admin
RadioScape announced today that it will immediately extend its current multi-standard radio product line to support all digital standards required for the French market. This will enable the development of multi-standard radio receivers capable of supporting DAB based standards including T-DMB and DAB+, as well as DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale), and current analogue standards AM and FM.
On March 12th, 2007, Industry Minister, Mr François Loos, issued a ministerial decree for the transition to Digital Radio in France based on a multi-standard approach. The AM band (short, medium and long wave) will experience a renewal through the adoption of digital standard, DRM. In addition, the T-DMB implementation of the DAB standard will be used in both Band III and L-Band, with the likely incorporation of the recently announced DAB+ standard.



John Hall, RadioScape’s CEO, commented: “This is a breakthrough moment for the French radio market. Finally, the transition to digital has begun and, as expected, both DAB and DRM standards are joint winners. We will support both the receivers market with our multi-standard module product line, as well as the broadcast market with our proven DAB broadcast systems. Given our significant experience in DAB and DRM standards we are uniquely positioned to enable the French market to go digital.”



Over the past 3 years, RadioScape has pioneered the development of multi-standard radio receiver technology to support both DAB and DRM standards. RadioScape is now shipping the award winning RS500 module, which provides reception for DAB (Band-III & L-Band), DRM (LW, MW & SW), FM-RDS, AM (LW & MW) including AMSS, automatic alternative frequency switching (AFS), EPG (DAB), SD-CARD Recording (DAB/DRM) and playback of MP3/WMA files.



Andrew Dewhurst, RadioScape’s Product Manager for Receivers, added: “The requirements of the emerging Digital Radio market in France are a perfect natural transition of existing standards support for our multi-standard product line. We can immediately assist manufacturers in the development of their receiver product plans given the significant expertise already developed with the current generation of DAB and DRM radios. Our multi-standard module family is currently being enhanced to incorporate support for additional DAB implementations, including DAB+, and will be available later in the year.”



RadioScape’s Broadcast Systems product line already supports multiple implementations of the DAB standard including DAB audio, T-DMB and DAB-IP, with DAB+ coming later this year. Over 85 broadcast systems are ‘on air’ at major broadcasters and network operators around the world to support DAB audio as well as DMB based multi-media and mobile TV transmissions.



The announcement this week in France follows a year of close collaboration between Radio France, RMC, RTL, SIRTI (regional radios), NRJ and the Lagardere group radio stations who joined forces with the objective of obtaining statutory regulation for the introduction of broadcasting standards, which would give the green light to the adoption of digital radio.



A number of countries across Europe and Asia have already adopted the DAB standard, but the emergence of DRM for the digitisation of the AM bands is a more recent phenomena. Already 18 broadcasters are now broadcasting on DRM with over 28 services now on air, amounting to over 230 hours per day.



In the UK the BBC has announced that it is to undertake a trial of DRM, which will allow it to explore digital radio using medium-wave frequencies. The trial will broadcast BBC Radio Devon using the new technology in the Plymouth area and will last for a year from the end of April.



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