Strong interest in DRM+ amongst Indian FM broadcasters

by Andy Sennitt

The DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) session was very well received by the commercial FM broadcasters in the annual India Radio Forum held in Mumbai on Wednesday. The event’s special session titled ‘Digital Broadcast – Changing the World of Radio’ was attended by delegates from most of the biggest Indian FM broadcast companies.

The session was a first introduction for India’s private broadcast industry to the many benefits of DRM digital radio. The broadcasters were particularly interested in the key features opening new commercial opportunities, including up to four services per frequency and multimedia services like EPG, Journaline text information service and Slideshow. They also experienced the 5.1 digital surround sound of a DRM+ broadcast, which was on display throughout the day. The programme makers and creative heads were impressed with the excellent audio quality and reception robustness of DRM broadcasts.

The regular All India Radio broadcast from Delhi on DRM SW, officially launched in January, could be heard by delegates live on various DRM receivers. The Indian state broadcaster – All India Radio – recently announced its decision to adopt DRM for the upcoming transition to Digital Radio. Seventy per cent of the country is planned to be covered with DRM broadcasts by the end of government’s 11th five year plan. This analogue-to-digital migration plan is in line with the analogue radio switch off date of 2015.

India Radio Forum (IRF) brings together all the major Indian FM players. Here the present and future of commercial FM is discussed, and best of the industry performance is celebrated. This was the first time that a digital radio session was organised during IRF. After the session, many broadcasters showed strong interest in exploring this option and taking their present analogue FM business to the next level of service offerings and revenue opportunities.