December Update

Our end of year newsletter is “a best of the crop“ review with all the new things happening with DRM in 2022. The progress is palpable and would not have been possible without the support of our members. We hope that 2023 will give us the big breakthrough we all wish for. DRM December Newsletter

November Update

ABU General Assembly

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union is the biggest broadcast union in the world. ABU promotes the collective interests of television and radio broadcasters as well as key industry players and facilitate regional and international media co-operation. The ABU general assembly takes place 25-30 November 2022 in New Delhi, India. For more information about the general assembly visit the ABU website. The DRM consortium will be well represented at the meeting with Mr Nigel Fry from the BBC delivering the keynote address and Mr Yogendra Pal – DRM India, Mr Alexander Zink- Fraunhofer IIS and Mr Matthew Phillips – CML Microcircuits presenting on DRM at the technical committee.

October DRM Newsletter

October has been a busy month. Read all about the activities of the DRM consortium from around the world in its October 2022 newsletter. Click here to read: DRM October Newsletter.

Next Generation Radio Frequency Spectrum Draft Policy

In September 2022 the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies published the Next Generation Radio Frequency Spectrum Draft Policy for public comment. The objective of this spectrum policy is to use spectrum, a finite and valuable resource, to promote the long-term benefits of socio-economic development.

The Spectrum Policy derives its enabling principles and guidelines from the 2016 Integrated ICT White Paper policy (“ICT White Paper”), and the 2010 spectrum policy of South Africa. Without deviating from the generality of the ICT White Paper, this policy seeks to utilize the spectrum to drive broader and inclusive economic participation and development for all. The ICT White Paper section about the spectrum supports the “growth and development of the electronic communication services”.

The deadline for public comments was on 20th October. The DRM SA group made a written submission to support the draft policy. Here is out submission and the draft policy for download.

DRM Consortium IBC ‘AM and FM DRM – The ‘Radio Platform for all’ Announces New Receivers and Developments

This year’s overarching theme “DRM for FM and AM – The Radio Platform for All” gave the DRM Consortium the chance to make new receiver announcements and demonstrate the deepening worldwide interest in DRM. A foretaste of all this was given on September 6th as a virtual event, to an audience representing all continents around the world. But for many of the DRM Consortium members, supporters and all those interested in digital radio, the first chance to meet in person, after almost three years of restrictions, was at the “DRM Meet and Greet” event hosted by Fraunhofer IIS at the IBC convention in Amsterdam on September 10th. There the guests enjoyed a chance for renewed networking accompanied by live DRM transmissions received on several receivers and receiver modules displayed at the booth.

CML Microsystems and Cambridge Consultants from the UK for the first time presented the prototype of their upcoming low-cost and all-band DRM receiver module, which will make building affordable DRM radio sets particularly easy. The company representatives announced that the module will be available from Q1 2023.

Gospell presented their entire range of well-established and full-featured DRM receivers consisting of desktop and pocket radios, with support for EWF Emergency Warning Functionality and Journaline text service. In addition, Gospell unveiled their new car radio for easy integration, the Stereo Digital Radio Receiver GR-520. All models provide DRM reception across all DRM broadcast bands.

Next to the Gospell receiver, Starwaves showcased three upcoming DRM receiver solutions: A complete and full-featured DRM and analogue AM/FM receiver module available to receiver manufacturers, with automotive-grade tuning and fast scanning across all DRM frequency bands and support for EWF Emergency Warning Functionality and Journaline text service.

Starwaves also presented its DRM SoftRadio App for Android phones and tablets, which upgrades any existing device to a full-featured DRM receiver simply by connecting an analogue RF SDR dongle. The app is available in major app stores including Google, Huawei and Amazon.

The line-up of new and exciting DRM receiver developments could also be experienced a few hours later at the Nautel stand during the “DRM Is Ready for FM” event.

The audience attending this DRM event learned about the multi-channel use of DRM in FM, as implemented by DRM member RFmondial and demonstrated in India. This was followed by a brief presentation of the recently concluded, successful DRM AM and FM trials in Australia. The focus switched then to Europe and specifically Copenhagen in Denmark, where the DRM in FM trial is continuing on the air.

The DRM Chairman, Ruxandra Obreja, congratulated all those who attended in person the two DRM events during IBC 2022 for their involvement and support of digital radio. Some of them came from as far as India, South Africa, Pakistan, US, Romania, UAE, Australia, China, etc. “It was exciting and even emotional to see again so many people involved in DRM in one single place, to talk to them directly and show them the great progress made by DRM in these last few and very hard years” she said. “It was satisfying to share with all the DRM family less slides but introduce more receivers. There is a real buzz around digital radio and DRM, despite current difficulties and the current economic climate. At IBC we feel that the case for DRM in both FM and AM, as the complete, energy-saving, feature-rich radio platform of the future was comprehensively demonstrated like never before.”

The DRM IBC events were supported by companies including: Fraunhofer IIS, Nautel, Gospell, Ampegon, BBC, Encompass Media, RFmondial, NXP, CML Microcircuits/Cambridge Consultants, Starwaves, OptM, RF2Digital, Skyworks, Radio Republik Indonesia, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, Inntot, and many more.

end 12 September 2022

Digital Sound Broadcasting Services Regulations, 2021

After the issuing of the policy direction on the introduction of digital sound broadcasting in South Africa by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies in 2020, the regulator, ICASA, moved swiftly to start the regulation making process. ICASA issued draft regulations for Digital Sound Broadcasting in November 2020. Public hearings were held in January 2021 and the final regulations were issued in April 2021. Download the final regulations here;