DRM Holds Workshop for French CSA

DRM Holds Workshop for French CSA

On Friday 29th January 2016, the CSA in conjunction with the DRM Consortium hosted a DRM workshop on digital radio for public and private broadcasters in France. Patrice Gélinet, President of the CSA Radio Directorate, chaired the meeting together with François-Xavier Bergot, Deputy Head of Radio Directorate also from the CSA.  Topics covered included  DRM30 (for frequencies below 30MhZ ) and DRM+ (for frequencies above 30 MHz on bands I,II,III),  features, spectrum efficiency, flexible planning, business cases, existing projects, the current availability of multi-standard chipsets, DRM receivers including the audio demonstration of a “Made in France”  DRM receiver.

The workshop was being hosted after the meeting in September 2015 when representatives of the DRM Consortium met with directors and members of the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA – French regulator), the  Direction Générale des Médias et des Industries Culturelles (DGMIC) and Radio France (French National Public Broadcaster) in Paris.

The Digital Radio Mondiale workshop was followed by a very dynamic round table on network, coverage and implementation planning as well as practical considerations and factors for a successful digital radio roll out in France. One of the issues discussed was bringing the innovative and high tech digital radio standard DRM to take a more active part in the radio digitisation of France.  Medium sized, community and local radio stations fear that a two speed process may leave them out of the digital process altogether.

The DRM technology has already proved its strength with its benefits (including considerable savings) during several successful tests held in France and in other European countries.

French Radio Federations and Associations would prefer more choice in digital standards options. In their view, DRM could constitute an affordable and very effective complementary digital solution which can ensure their independence and full control of the transmission process and costs while guaranteeing their coverage needs.

Radio stations and federation that attended the workshop were very impressed by the level of innovation and flexibility and autonomy that the technology brings.

In order to progress, it was suggested that the right regulatory framework must be in place to allow DRM in its two modes (DRM30 and specifically DRM+) to run more than just field tests and to receive the relevant authorisations to take part to frequency tenders and to be deployed in conjunction with other norms.

The president of the Radio Council of the CSA, Patrice Gélinet said  : “it would be absurd for the radio media to be the last  to  be digitised in France  regardless of the standard used  (DAB+, TDMB or DRM)  and for France to be the last European country to adopt digital radio” .

The day ended with the visit of Radio France iconic building, courtesy of Mr. Kandin, Deputy Head of New Techniques and Technologies at Radio France. The day in pictures.