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All India Radio Will Test MaxxCasting and ZoneCasting

GeoBroadcast Solutions said it has been working for three years to win approval of a test program

GeoBroadcast Solutions has announced that huge radio network All India Radio is going to take a good close look at its ZoneCasting and MaxxCasting technologies.

“Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcaster, has allowed GeoBroadcast Solutions to test its MaxxCasting and ZoneCasting systems on the largest radio network of the world, All India Radio, beginning with its radio stations in Delhi and Bengaluru,” GBS announced in a press release.

“Scheduled for mobilization beginning in mid-April, NBH Delhi (FM Gold 106.4 MHz 20 kW) and Bengaluru (Rainbow 101.3 MHz or VBS 102.9) reach a combined listenership of 23 million in the world’s largest democracy.”

GBS said the installation should be ready for trial by the end of the summer. It said approval for the tests was secured after meetings and presentations over three years.

“Responding to the government’s goal to better serve India’s diverse population through the use of new technologies, Prasar Bharati is encouraging India’s broadcasters to more effectively reach minority groups and multi-language speaking residents,” it said. “The technology will not only reach underserved communities through an improved broadcast signal but will also provide zoned customized content to various dialect and ethnic groups.”

The company quoted Sunil Srivastava, additional director general at Prasar Bharati, saying, “With this the broadcast stations will be able to reach the individual cultural communities in India through a single frequency. Prasar Bharati’s radio tower infrastructure will provide the engineers with the necessary foundation to design and implement a network of zones that is expected to reach unique populations through a single broadcast platform.”

GeoBroadcast said the opportunity to work with Prasar Bharati came about through Dev Banad Viswanath, a New York-based attorney with U.S. and Indian ties to the broadcast community.

MaxxCasting helps FM broadcasters enhance coverage using clusters of low, directionalized and synchronized booster sites. A ZoneCasting “zone” is a group of MaxxCasting cell sites broadcasting localized content. The latter technology has been contentious in the United States, where it is been approved for use because of restrictions against FM boosters originating content different from what’s on the main station.