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Xperi Files Data on HD Radio Alerting

Company says its technology supports “diversity, reliability and resiliency” of safety messages

Example of an HD Radio visual alert on a Harman receiver.

Xperi believes its HD Radio technology is an efficient methodology for wirelessly broadcasting alert messages in the United States. Now it has submitted a report to the FCC in support of that argument.

The report includes information about the performance of HD Radio digital emergency alerting during the recent nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System.

“Digital emergency alerts delivered through HD Radio broadcasting offer diversity, reliability and resiliency of public safety messages,” the company told the commission.

[Related: National EAS Test Showed Improvement, FCC Says]

Xperi said it evaluated the reception of test alerts via HD Radio broadcast, ATSC broadcast and Wireless Emergency Alerts cellular service.

“The HD Radio alert system performed as well as the other digital alert services and demonstrated significant market coverage and low-latency delivery,” Xperi wrote.

HD Radio coverage area and test site for KOIT(FM) 96.5 MHz, San Francisco.

It points out that broadcast radio is not subject to network congestion delays and outages imposed by natural disasters associated with cellular standards such as LTE and 5G.

“Furthermore, anecdotal observations indicate that wireless alert latencies can vary across cellular carriers. While HD Radio alerts may have latency in different markets, the message notification to devices is generally consistent within a geographic region. Therefore, it is presumed that HD Radio alerts may, in many cases, be detected before wireless alerts are detected.”

Though acknowledging that the test was not “exhaustive or comprehensive,” Xperi wrote: “The tests confirmed that the latency for alerts to reach an HD Radio receiver was comparable to the latency for WEA alerts. There generally was a 10 to 20 second difference between the receipt of the emergency alert on the HD Radio receiver and on a mobile device — with the HD Radio emergency alert arriving first in some instances and the WEA arriving first in others. In some cases, no WEA alert was received at locations where an alert was received on the HD Radio device.”

It concludes that HD Radio emergency alerts “provide needed redundancy and corroborate messages received from other sources.”

It plans more testing to include “a wider distribution of digital radio markets and a deeper evaluation of digital TV (ATSC and ATSC3.0) message delivery.”

Here’s the Xperi presentation as filed with the FCC, including detailed observation data.

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