DRM Digital Radio Mondiale: The Future of Indian Radio — Business Opportunities for Stakeholders, on February 28th 2014

Press Release

 For Immediate Release: 24th February 2014

DRM Digital Radio Mondiale: The Future of Indian Radio — Business Opportunities for Stakeholders, on February 28th 2014

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in co-operation with the DRM Consortium, is organising a one day National Seminar on the opportunities offered by the current roll-out of digital radio to the Indian industry.  “DRM: The Future of Indian Radio – Business Opportunities for Stakeholders” will be held on the 28th February 2014 at Hotel Le Meridien, Sovereign I, New Delhi. This is going to be a ground-breaking event, the first of its kind on DRM in India, involving technology specialists and representatives of Government and industry. The event is sponsored by a number of companies from India and abroad.

The aim of the event is to energise the Indian receiver manufacturing industry so that with the support of the government, broadcasters and interested Indian stakeholders, digital receivers and platforms can be made available to a greater number of Indian listeners. The introduction of digital radio broadcasting opens new business opportunities and sources of revenue for radio receiver manufacturers, distributors, retailers, exporters and public as well as private broadcasters. The development of cost effective digital radio receivers in the form of standard desktop set, car radio, mobile phones, or dongles (front-end) for mobile phones, PCs and tablets for domestic and exports market now needs national interest and support. There are already manufacturers working on the development of radio receivers and they will take part in the event.

All India Radio is in the process of replacing and/or converting 72 MW transmitters to digital ones across the country which should increase coverage to 70% of the Indian population, representing some 800 million people. Four SW transmitters are also being replaced by DRM transmitters. DRM technology provides the listeners with enhanced audio quality, service reliability, added data services, emergency warning alerts, targeted advertising and a more efficient transmission system that greatly lowers the power costs. The Indian listeners will enjoy their preferred radio programmes wherever they are in the country, with no fading or other sound distortions.

An expert committee led by Dr Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information, Infrastructure and Innovation, was constituted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India to consider profound changes that could lead Prasar Bharati into the future. The report http://www.prasarbharaticommittee.in/report  submitted last month by the group endorses the adoption of DRM by AIR. The group has observed that,

“In the current landscape, FM is the most popular audio transmission system as it has both private and public participation. However, FM reaches to only 43% of the population. The needs of the Public Broadcaster are met by AM through MW and SW transmission. MW and SW together reach to 99% of the population but fail to provide stereo quality output to the listener as provided by FM. The Group understands that Prasar Bharati has adopted transitioning of AM to DRM to improve the quality of output and endorses the transition. However, the Group on Technology feels that the receiver eco-system of DRM is not fully developed. Therefore, it is critical to have necessary directives and implementation strategy for transition.

Further to increase the uptake of DRM and develop the receiver eco-system, it is critical for private sector to participate. The additional capacity generated by transitioning to DRM can be utilized by the private players to provide more variety to audience…

 ..Given the popularity of the FM, AIR should continue to increase the coverage of FM from 43% to 65%. Once the DRM eco-system is stabilized, AIR can consider migration of FM to DRM+.

For the DRM Consortium’s full summary of the committee’s recommendations, please read more here.

The CII seminar has a rich agenda and a number of objectives: to create visibility of the DRM standard amongst the stakeholders; to showcase and discuss the features and benefits for transmitters and receiver manufacturers; to flag the opportunities available to Indian industry in designing, developing and manufacturing cost effective DRM receivers for the domestic and exports markets; to understand the potential of the ‘value-added’ services that can be made available on DRM receivers and facilitate further interaction and business meetings between the developers/ manufacturers and technology providers as well as the vibrant private broadcasting sector.

According to Mr Vinod Sharma, Chairman, CII National Committee on Information, Communication, Technology and Electronics (ICTE) Manufacturing: “the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2012 has the vision to create a globally competitive electronics design and manufacturing industry to meet the country’s need and serve the international markets. The Policy provides for several incentives for encouraging R&D, manufacturing and exports. India’s transitioning to the digital radio broadcasting based on the DRM standard – provides business opportunities for design and development and the, manufacturing of a range of DRM receivers, including low cost affordable sets, for the average consumers on various platforms useful for catering to the domestic and export markets.”

Ms. Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium Chairperson, believes that: “while the DRM infrastructure is being rolled out in the country, getting closer to the Indian broadcast manufacturing industries is now vital and of the highest priority. The DRM standard is excellent; it is open and available, ready to be used. It would also enable private broadcasters to expand the reach of their programmes. It is being perfected by Indian specialists for the production of Indian receivers.  It will benefit millions of Indian radio lovers and DRM is ready to serve the whole country with new FM-quality services today.”

About DRM

Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) is the universal, openly standardised digital broadcasting system for all broadcasting frequencies.

The DRM standard comprises of two major configurations: ‘DRM30’ intended for broadcasts on short, medium and long wave up to 30 MHz and providing large coverage areas and low power consumption. The configuration for the VHF bands above 30 MHz is called ‘DRM+’, tailored for local and regional coverage with broadcaster-controlled transmissions.

All DRM configurations share the same audio coding, data and multimedia services, service linking, multiplexing and signalling schemes.  DRM provides high quality sound combined with a wealth of enhanced features: Surround Sound, Journaline text information, Slideshow, EPG, and data services.

For more information and DRM updates please visit tmp.drm.org or subscribe to DRM news by writing to pressoffice@drm.org.  Read the India Chapter Noticeboard for all the latest news on DRM in India.  Click here for the Newsletter with all the latest DRM news from around the world.


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