Saturday, 8 July 2017

DAB Transition in Norway Heading For a Flop

"We will switch-off DAB"
Radio Norway loses half of its listeners. But all three nationwide losers. Continued DAB resistance. Many switch to local radio on FM.
The major radio channels is losing thousands of listeners when the FM network is step by step switched off. Nevertheless, the FM switch-off still remains in popular Oslo and Akershus County. For the country's major channel public service NRK P1, daily coverage fell by eight percent - from 1,517,000 in week 24 last year to 1,394,000 in the same week this year. The listeners leaving the NRK main channel have probably switched to FM local radio and on-line.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

FM Band Boost in Sweden. 170 Additional Frequencies for Commercial Radio

Successful frequency planning prior to licensing period 2018-2026.
The Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has presented a new frequency plan for the FM band for commercial radio in Sweden. This will provide more frequency radio resources and creates new opportunities for national, regional and local commercial broadcast areas. Current FM radio broadcast licenses will expire on July 31, 2018 and new eight-year licenses will be announced. Prior to this, PTS has been commissioned by the government to develop a new analogue commercial radio frequency plan which now will include 380 frequencies on the FM band besides frequencies assigned for public and community radio.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

368 New FM Broadcast Licenses Issued in Denmark

Radio Vesterbro. Copenhagen
FM retained in a new local radio landscape for another 10 years.
The radio and television committee has now allocated 368 new broadcasting licenses on the FM band for commercial and non-commercial local radio (community radio). The licenses will be running from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2027. This indicates that an FM switch-off will probably not be on the agenda in Denmark for a long time, if ever.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Serious Setback for DAB Radio

Multiplex to close as FM prospers in Ireland
A multi-city DAB digital radio multiplex is closing after lack of interest from the independent radio sector. The multiplex by dB currently carries services by public broadcaster RTÉ and a number of niche stations – namely Maria, Sunshine, Ri-Ra and RTÉ lyric. Previously, the mux has offered All 80s, All 90s, Zenith, Pure Classic, Love Radio, Amazing Radio and UCB.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Indonesia Testing Digital Radio in Crowded FM Band

Successful Singapore Straits Demonstration of DRM+
In cooperation with Digital Radio Mondiale the public broadcaster RRI has tested DRM+ in

Indonesian island of Batam close to Singapore. The DRM signal was inserted into the existing and very crowded FM local spectrum in the Strait area. The existing FM was at
105.1 MHz and DRM was placed at 105.25Mhz. The current analogue transmitter had a power of 5kW in analogue. 2.5kW was used for simulcast mode (FM and DRM) and only 0.2KW DRM power was utilised. Excellent coverage area was achieved with only 10% of analogue power.

Brazil Testing Long Distance Digital Radio

Reaching out with public service broadcasting to Amazonas
The last two months experimental DRM transmissions were resumed by Brazilian public broadcaster EBC from the Rodeador Park, where the Rádio Nacional transmission facility is located. Despite the low power (130 W) used the DRM30 HF signal being audible in quality in the Sao Paolo State at about 800 km away from the transmission site in Brasilia. The audio of the Amazon National Radio was received there in excellent digital quality.

U.S. Digital Shortwave Plans for Europe

Turms Tech LLC has applied to the media authority FCC to broadcast DRM from New Jersey toward Europe and the Middle East. Specifically, they plan on using the Armstrong tower, just west and north of New York City, with yagi-type antennas, generating an ERP of 10 kW on 9.65 and 15.45 MHz.

Friday, 9 June 2017

First Country to Rule Unlocking FM Radio on Smartphones.

Advertisers welcome Mexico’s decision. Will combine linear audio with the interaction of digital platforms.
Federal Telecommunications Institute now requires all smartphone manufacturers to enable the technology that allows the device to pick up FM radio signals. Move came after months of pressure from National Chamber of Radio and Television Industry (CIRT).  Mexico is the first country in the world to enact such legislation.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Will DAB Kill Radio? Continued Listening Decline in Norway

National radio has lost many listeners in the last two years. 2 of 3 cars not DAB-able.
Radio listening is now dramatically falling in Norway, as the national radio closes its FM

transmitters. In week 21, total listening was only 62.9% according to Kantar TNS measurements. This is the worst week of the year with the exception of Easter week. Week 21 2015, the total radio listening rate was 70.9% in week 21 and the same week 2016 69.0%. Public radio is the big loser, while local radio is not included in this poll.

Continued Local Radio on FM Welcome by Advertisers in Norway

The transition to DAB opens for a local radio boost
Local radio stations in the counties Møre og Romsdal are pleased that NRK has recently switched off their FM transmitters. They also report that advertisers are now delighted that local stations are gradually becoming the only ones that broadcast on FM in respectively area.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

FM Radio a Global Standard Mobile Emergency Utility

ITU supports activating FM chips in smartphones. Norway draws a blank. 
The North American Broadcasters Association opinion on activating radio receivers in smartphones has been adopted by the International Telecommunication Union (a United Nations organization). Enabling the FM chip present present in most smartphones would allow users convenient access to FM radio in times of emergency and natural disasters. The submission is supported by other international broadcasting organizations. -- Today there are an estimated 2,5 billion smartphones users in the world.  Number of stand-alone, portable and in-car FM radio receivers are estimated at 6 billion.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Online Music Streaming Overtakes Major Broadcast Radio

Spotify now officially has more UK listeners than BBC Radio 1
Major British music channel BBC Radio 1 has posted its worst quarterly Rajar result in history. The station’s average weekly audience fell to 9.1 million in the period – representing around 14% of the total UK population, and down by more than 2 million people compared to five years ago. Year-on-year, Radio 1’s audience dropped by 804.000 compared to the three months to end of March 2016. 
Spotify now comfortably boasts more than 9.1m active users in the UK market (and is believed to be up towards the 10m mark on a monthly basis).

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Still Kicking and Alive: Medium Waves in the U.K.

Five AM community radio licences awarded. Radio Caroline returning to AM and sea waves.
Media authority Ofcom has now awarded five medium wave (AM) community radio licences. The licences are for stations serving different communities in Glasgow, West Leicestershire, Leicester, Suffolk and northern parts of Essex, and Yeovil and South Somerset. One of the licensees is seaborne pirate station Radio Caroline. - There are 220 non-commercial community radio stations in the United Kingdom. Most are on FM.  - Read more about the five radio stations below.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Public Service Losing Young Audience After FM Switch-off

Only one third of the Norwegians are positive about DAB radio
Week May 1-7 showed significant audience loss of both NRK P1 and NRK P3 as measured by Kantar TNS. For the first time this year, NRK P1 - the basic national public channel - has a daily presence of less than 30%, more specifically 29.5%. This is reported to be the worst measured results NRK P1 ever had  in a "normal" week. - Meanwhile, opinion polls show continued strong resistance to the national FM switch-off.

Friday, 5 May 2017

DAB Is The Final Stop For Radio

Norwegian media personality slaughtered the DAB project at the government's cultural conference 
The Minister of Culture and the Parliament was written on the noses by the Norwegian astrophysicist, author and future researcher Eirik Newth at the government's cultural conference May 3 in Oslo. He delivered very gloomy predictions about the Norwegian radio industry. DAB is one of the most stupid projects the authorities has implemented and represents the final stop for radio. What we did was to build a terminus, instead of just a road stop which we could travel on from, Newth said.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Successful National Launch of Digital Radio in India

After rejecting DAB India now demonstrates full capabilities of DRM
Recently the public broadcaster All India Radio successfully completed phase-I of the national DRM digital radio roll-out – the installation of 37 DRM transmitters,
 now operational, throughout the country. As part of Phase II of the DRM introduction in the country, All India Radio is demonstrating the full complement of services which are part of the DRM30 standard using the AM band (Mediumwave).

Sunday, 23 April 2017

FM Radio Retained in Norway - Also After 2022

No political decision to force local radio to go DAB.  Major losses for commercial networks after transition but local radio are winners
The authorities have now confirmed that there are no plans to close down the FM network 2022 according to the Norwegian Local Radio Federation. Only national channels will close their FM transmitter 2017, while most local radio stations have permits to broadcast on FM until 2022. It has been unclear if the local radio will continue on FM after that date. In a letter from the Ministry of Culture to the EFTA Surveillance Authority ESA, it is clear that there is no decision on what will happen to FM radio after 2022.

National channels closing 2000 transmitters in Norway. What's happening to the FM band?

Besides local radio and Swedish broadcasting no other demands today. 
Not much happens yet with the FM band, according to chief engineer Tore Lunestad at the Telecom authority Nkom lecturing at the National Local Radio Federation's conference in Stavanger. When the national channels close their FM transmitter in 2017, many available frequency resources are released in Norway. Among other things, public radio NRK has almost 1200 transmitters and private Radio Norge almost 700. All of these and some more will free new frequencies for, among other things, local radio. And the Swedes are keen to get a slice of the cake.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Proposed Mandatory Digital Interface in New Radios in Germany

A setback for the DAB lobby wet dream
Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) is working to promote digital radio services by mandating certain features in new radios. The draft recommendation suggests that high-quality radio receivers may only be sold if they are suitable for the reception of standards-appropriate digital signals. Whether that interface is DAB + or Internet does not matter. Smartphones will not be affected as online radio listening is already digital.

Friday, 14 April 2017

BBC Radio 3 Delivering Concert Sound on the Net

Listeners able to receive studio quality signal via web browser
Last week, BBC Radio 3 and BBC R&D launched what they believed is another world-first for a classical music radio network: audio delivered directly to your web browser with completely lossless compression. Together various technologies including MPEG DASH, FLAC compression, HTML5 and the Media Source Extensions offer a bit-perfect representation of Radio 3's live output, exactly as it left the studio. Radio 3 makes considerable investment in music performance and technical excellence, and this pilot enables the most transparent listening experience possible according to the BBC.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Continued Slanted News About DAB Developments

Lobby organisation is trolling on the net according to think tank.
WorldDAB has published the latest version of its infographic featuring DAB receiver sales, coverage and household penetration for markets in Europe and Asia Pacific up to the end of 2016. TheWorldDAB presentations have a catchy layout and look reliable. But the Swedish think tank Public Service Council (PSR) warns readers to beware as crucial facts are often omitted. A total of 50 million units sold should also be presented with a consideration that it is long way to go before DAB+ will come even close to the figures for the two major global radio listening platforms. There are an estimated 6 billions of FM receivers in the world and 2,5 billions of smartphones.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

DAB Broadcasting Gets the Axe in Hong Kong

No demand. Mobile devices and net competition killed on-air digital radio
The public broadcaster Radio & Television Hong Kong will terminate its five channels digital audio broadcasting (DAB+) in about six months. The decision was made after the Executive Council approved the complete discontinuation of DAB in Hong Kong due to weak market demand. Thus HK government is pulling the plug of the only remaining DAB+ broadcasting by RTHK. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Not A Better Sound With DAB Technology in Norway

Public broadcaster admits DAB+ is not quality improvement. A widespread myth about DAB is now killed.
Recent arguments against DAB+ is that the sound quality not as good as FM. The magazine Stereo + has now tested the sound quality using professional equipment at the public broadcaster NRK. They tested DAB+ with different bit rates 24-128 kbps. With 128 kbps AAC  good results in relation to the reference CD quality 192 kbps MP2. However, noticeable difference in that which is most common in the DAB network 96 kbps AAC SBR with deterioration. It will also send 48 and 32 kbps, but it does not work for music.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Radio Listening in Norway Plummeting when FM Network Is Closed

The public broadcaster will find it difficult to escape a major flop. - Norwegian truck drivers experience downgraded reception with DAB.
On January 11th there was a big fuss as Nordland was the first fylke (county) to turn off the FM network for nationwide radio - and this is the first time a fylke was able to listen to public broadcaster NRK only via DAB+. This has now led to dramatic consequences. Before FM switch-off listened 74 percent of the inhabitants of Nordland on the radio. After switch-off only 64 percent. Almost each seventh listeners thus have stopped listening to the radio with DAB as the only option.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

With DAB Adapters No Traffic Alert Breaks

Norwegian motorist organization warns that well-established in-car radio function now missing
Just a few of the DAB adapters allow traffic messages to interrupt in-car listening warns motorist organization NAF. This is a well-known feature of FM radio. No matter what radio station you are listening to, listening to different music through the car stereo, or even have turned down the volume  traffic information gets through if Traffic Announcement (TA) is turned on, says NAF communications consultant Nils Sødal. A dedicated traffic DAB channel is just a halfway solution.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

80 New FM Frequencies for Commercial Radio in Sweden

DAB lobby arguments about the lack of broadcasting space now forgotten
The telecom agency PTS has now informed about industry efforts to develop new FM frequencies for commercial radio. The priority for the agency was to open frequencies for at least three national networks. This project has now succeed and PTS will now continue to develop regional and local frequency spectra for FM radio. The idea of a transition from FM to DAB in Sweden seems to be a dead issue by now.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Local FM Radio Upbeat As National Radio Shifts to DAB in Norway

Reduced listening for public radio from start of FM switch-off.
NRK claims DAB is a success.

Since the closure of the FM network began in Nordland county February 8 and later continued in Trøndelag, Møre and Romsdal NRK now noticeably has fewer listeners, as measured in week 7, with a daily share of 45.7%. It is far less than in the corresponding time in 2016, when it reached 48.6%. The closure will continue gradually throughout the country and ends in December. Local radio continues on FM (except in the largest cities). Continued widespread skepticism and irritation among Norwegian radio listeners, who are more vulnerable to change than in the other countries which are introducing DAB radio.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Pakistan Follows India for Digital Radio Platform

Soon converting transmission to DRM
Radio Pakistan has started work on converting its transmission to state-of- the art DRM technology to  make its broadcasts clearer and cost-effective. Director General, Radio Pakistan Khurshid Malik visited the project at Broadcasting House in Islamabad where he was briefed about progress on introducing DRM technology. He was informed that this technology enhances quality of broadcasts to perfection.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Commercial Broadcasters Rejects DAB Transition Plan in Germany

Association leaving federal government digitalradio board
The private commercial radio stations, which are part of Verband Privater Rundfunk und Telemedien e.V. (VPRT), has rejected the "Action Plan for the Transformation of Radio Broadcasting in the Digital Age" as non-marketable and also left the Digitalradio-Board of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). VPRT demands that the regional states now act in the sense of diversity protection in the dual system.

FCC Chairman Encourages Activation of FM Radio in Your iPhone

Pressure is mounting on Apple to follow Android platforms
The new FCC chairman Ajit Pai has advocated for the activation of FM radio receivers built into nearly every smartphone, as part of opening remarks he made at the Future of Radio and Audio Symposium in Washington DC. Pai cited the NAB study that found only 44% of the top-selling smartphones in the United States had activated FM receivers as of last year. The vast majority—94%—of the non-activated smartphones are iPhones, according to the study.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Dutch Go for Digital Radio, But Not for DAB

Lack of consumer demand might kill DAB+ in the Netherlands
The government’s multi-million euro campaign to get people to switch to DAB is failing, according to public broadcaster Nos. Radio sellers and car dealers report few people switching to the DAB+ system, even though the government wants everyone to have made the change by 2017. Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp wants to increase competition between broadcasters and says there is more room for new players using DAB+ to replace FM. But Internet seems to be the stumbling block.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

British Broadcast Provider Up For Sale

Declining on-air broadcasting market and debt pile possible sales factors
Arqiva responsible for the UK's television and radio transmitter towers, four Freeview multiplexes and numerous DAB multiplexes is up for sale. Its chief executive, telecoms industry veteran Simon Beresford-Wylie, is targeting growth in the mobile market as revenues from broadcasting are in long, slow decline. Today the company has a near monopoly over UK transmission towers.

FM Radio Now Activated in Half of Smartphones Sold in the U.S.

Broadcasters and authorities demand operators to activate new smartphones
Commercial broadcasters research unit PILOT has observed the activation of FM reception capabilities in popular smartphones since 2012, and has reported its findings throughout the period.Then the percentage of smartphones with FM reception capability was in the single digits. Now however, an important milestone has been reached. In the third quarter of 2016, the number of top-selling smartphones sold with FM reception capability enabled by at least one carrier has for the first time matched those sold without FM capability. 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

British military to end national DAB transmissions

BFBS will continue on FM, satellite and online.
Forces radio station BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) will come off the national digital radio multiplex Digital One in March after carrying out analysis over the costs. The station says to RadioToday that it can no longer justify the cost of the platform, but the radio service will continue as normal with no job losses.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Start of FM Switch-off in Norway Reveals DAB Vulnerability

Norwegian government close to a national broadcasting failure.
In the balance before February 8: Trøndelag and Geneva.

After starting the switch-off of FM transmitters for nationwide radio in Nordland county January 11 many listeners had sparse or no DAB reception at all. Quite different from what the public service broadcaster NRK has promised. There are strong indications that DAB will not be complete and sufficient replacement for FM. Now the government has to decide upon a switch-off postponement for the rest of the country. But the official picture of the switch-off is still bright with pomp and circumstance.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

In-car radios will be jammed by ambulances

New Swedish emergency system will interrupt FM radio listening
Ambulances in Stockholm are testing a system that interrupts in-car audio systems to warn drivers that they need to get through. The solution was developed by students at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology. It broadcasts a voice warning, while a text message also appears in the radio display. It uses an FM radio signal to jam drivers' speakers and stop music playing according to BBC News.
It will be able to alert cars with their FM radios turned on and also interrupts Bluetooth connections.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Norway Is Not a Trendsetter for FM Radio

No DAB  for U.S. commercial radio. Will never turn off FM
The Norwegian parliament’s forced turn-off of many FM analog radio stations in favor of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) is causing not just static, but outright anger. Opinion polls indicate 66 percent of Norwegians oppose the shutdown, with only 17 percent in favor. The angst stems from the fact that the shutdown could leave tens of thousands of people without access to some of their favorite free and local radio stations. On the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) policy blog Christopher Ornelas, Chief Operating Officer, asks if it could happen in the United States.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

National Radio Network Switch-over from FM to DAB+ in Norway

An unique but unpopular transition is not making positive news abroad. Except for the Norwegian Embassy in Washington.
Norway yesterday become the first country to cease FM radio broadcasting for national radio on-air channels. The switch from FM and old DAB to DAB+ broadcasting, is intended to save money, but critics are worried about the effect on drivers and listeners of small radio stations. The switch-off is set to cause considerable disruption to all radio listeners. News about this unique step in international media has been has been met with some surprise but also by doubt and distance;" it won’t happen here”.