Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ITU approves DRM tropical band broadcasts

Text of press release by London-based Digital Radio Mondiale on 27 November

Geneva, Switzerland: The ITU is the United Nations organization for coordination of the use of the radio spectrum. Every four years it conducts a thorough review and modification of the regulations for the use of the radio spectrum, including broadcasting use.

Since 2002, Digital Radio Mondiale’s (DRM) system has been endorsed by the ITU for broadcasting over the world in the longwave, mediumwave and shortwave frequencies, with the exception of the “tropical zone” bands. The tropical zone bands are the frequencies near the lower end of the shortwave spectrum that are reserved for domestic (national) broadcasting.

It includes countries located roughly in latitudes between 30 degrees north and south like Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Congo, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, and many others countries are concerned.

At the last World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) of the ITU in Geneva, the conference officially approved DRM system in the broadcasting bands between 3200 and 5900 kHz for domestic coverage in the “tropical zone” countries. This major regulatory achievement opens up a huge market for the benefit of the citizens from this part of the world.

The DRM consortium is very pleased with this outcome that “the recognition of the DRM system is now totally worldwide for all digital radio applications of various types around the world in the traditional broadcasting bands below 30 MHz - longwave, mediumwave and shortwave”said Dr H Donald Messer, DRM representative at WRC.

Moreover, the DRM consortium has developed an adaptation of its system to the VHF bands I and II (the “old TV” and “FM” bands, respectively). It is currently being field tested and is in the final part of the standardization process. When completed in the near future, the DRM system will be available for worldwide use in all the terrestrial broadcasting bands up to and including the “FM” band. Coverage can range from less than 100 sq km using very low power levels, to well over 1m sq km using powers approaching 100 kW.

(Source: Digital Radio Mondiale press release, London, in English 27 Nov 07 via BBC Monitoring/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)