France Affirms Digital Radio Choices

French Culture Minister Christine Albanel has signed a decree sanctioned the implementation of DRM and T-DMB Audio in VHF band III and L band as the terrestrial digital radio standards to implemented in the country.
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French Culture Minister Christine Albanel has signed a decree sanctioned the implementation of DRM and T-DMB Audio in VHF band III and L band as the terrestrial digital radio standards to implemented in the country.

T-DMB Audio is a neologism referring to the use of the South Korea-developed Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting standard for video to mobile telephones that is part of the Eurkea-147 family of standards.

The adoption of T-DMB Audio instead of DAB+, which is more spectrum efficient for audio services, was explained by a desire to include images and additional multimedia services alongside digital radio channels.

In late November, the European Parliament officially adopted DVB-H as a pan-European standard for broadcasting to handheld devices, a move heavily criticized by WorldDMB, the consortium backing DMB, DAB and the family of Eureka-147-based standards.

French authorities are still planning to rollout a DVB-H network by mid-2008, and it remains to be seen how the adoption of T-DMB Audio will affect DVB-H operations or the options available to consumers. The same decree specified the use of DVB-T and DVB-H for terrestrial services in VHF bands IV and V; and DVB-SH for satellite-to-handheld applications in the S and L bands.

Alongside T-DMB Audio, France is adopting the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard for terrestrial broadcasting on frequencies up to 30 MHz, and the ETSI SDR satellite digital radio standard for use in the L band. Both WorldSpace and Ondas Media plan to use SDR in Europe.

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