Mexico Allows Limited HD Radio Implementation

The Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones (COFETEL) is seeking public consultation on its proposed framework for the voluntary implementation of in-band, on-channel (IBOC) digital radio in the northern border region.

Along the U.S.–Mexico border, stations have been looking to adopt the iBiquity Digital HD Radio IBOC system both to reach listeners on the U.S. side of the border and to mitigate interference concerns as HD Radio is implemented by U.S. stations in the region.

According to the COFETEL consultative document (PDF, in Spanish), stations within 320 kilometers of the U.S.–Mexico border will have requests to implement HD Radio approved.

"Broadcasters that initiate IBOC transmissions will have to maintain the continuity of their analog services and have to present quarterly reports of the operation of their stations," according to a COFETEL communiqué.

COFETEL is evaluating HD Radio, DRM and Eureka-147 DAB for the implementation of digital radio across Mexico. The IBOC proposal for the northern frontier still requires governmental approval.

There are 80 FM stations and 120 AM stations on the Mexican side of the border area. According to iBiquity, about 15 Mexican stations are expected to be on the air with HD Radio signals by year-end.

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