22 Mar Interview with Mr Ismar do Vale Junior – EBCs Radio Maintenance Co-ordinator
Is the radio digitization process still going on in Brazil? Is it still on the governmental agenda?
Radio digitisation has been in the background for some time now, and it is not on the priority list of the public agencies. The digital flame is still burning but it needs to get bigger because there is still much interest in this process.
Which are the forces that are fighting for radio digitization in the country?
EBC, the public broadcaster, and some civil associations retain a very keen interest in the finalisation of the radio digitization process in Brazil. In the MCTIC (Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications), the subject is still “on a shelf” ready to be put back on the discussion agenda.
What do you think would help unlock the digitalization of radio and the rebirth of radio?
We understand that only the mobilization of all the organisations and individuals that still have interest in digital radio will unlock the process and make it gain speed.
What are the plans of the EBC in relation to digital radio?
The EBC has a great interest in digital radio. It is currently focused on the digital standard DRM for shortwave services. The interest in providing SW services is strategic, and EBCs SW transmission site in Brasilia integrates assets on the list of the critical government infrastructure. Once you get greater coverage in SW using digital technology, the broadcast digital services will have better quality at reduced energy costs. Besides the SW transmissions, EBC also has an interest in digitizing its MW services. At the moment it operates a radio station of territorial coverage, the Radio Nacional de Brasilia, on MW 980 kHz, using a 200 kW transmitter. Going digital on MW will result in higher audio quality and again reduced cost of transmission equipment and energy, because it will use less power to cover the entire country
How do you see the EBC’s expectations of digital radio?
EBC believes that defining and introducing in Brazil the DRM in SW is uncomplicated, as there are not competing standards that can deliver digitised SW. Only DRM can do it and we all know that only DRM is the digital technology adopted by manufacturers of such transmitters. Regarding the digital MW services, we understand that the process could continue with further tests, whose procedures were set at the last meeting of the Technical Committee of Digital Radio, the official group looking at digital radio. EBC wants the resumption of the meetings of the Digital Radio Committee, officially established by the Brazilian Government, whose activities have been paralysed for some time.
Mr. Ismar do Vale Junior – EBCs Radio Maintenance Coordinator, interviewed by Marcelo Goedert, DRM Country Representative, Brazil