Friday, December 14, 2007

France adopts two digital radio formats

Text of by press release by Digital Radio Mondiale on 11 December

On 5 December, French Minister of Culture Mrs. Christine Albanel signed a decree to confirm the adoption of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T-DMB) in band III and in the L-band as the digital radio standards in France. With the adoption of both technologies, France is one of the pioneer countries for the digitalisation of the radio.

The adoption of DRM in France is the result of long-term experiments and discussions conducted with or under the scrutiny of the regulatory and governmental bodies. The statements of industry ministers along the past years have paved the way for the decision made by the Minister of Culture and Communication. Both T-DMB and the DRM standard were named as driving technologies. The decision taken few days ago is a confirmation of earlier announcements. The DRM and T-DMB adoption will boost the commercial launch of digital radio in France, scheduled next year.

The combination of both digital technologies DRM and T-DMB is the perfect solution for public and private broadcasters, and for urban, rural and international broadcasting. DRM is a great way to enjoy not only international radio stations, but also some local and national radio. Michel Penneroux, DRM Commercial Committee Chairman, welcomes this significant step towards the digitalisation of radio: “The French government decision is the result of testing and debating on digital technologies in France. DRM radio receivers will now have a wide market in France”.

Regarding the DRM consortium contribution to the French process he says that: “Our DRM national platform in France has played a key part in this process that has led to the DRM standard endorsement. This encourages the work made by other DRM National Platforms in Germany, Spain and Italy. We now speed up the duplication of such a platform in any countries around the world”.

Early in 2008, the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) will invite tenders for radio stations and programme editors to broadcast digital radio. The first digital radio programmes are expected to be on air in France in the last quarter of 2008.

(Source: Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) press release, Geneva, in English 11 Dec 07 via BBC Monitoring/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)