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Mexican Broadcaster Says Digital Conversions On-Track

Government broadcaster plans to complete HD Radio transition by year-end

The Instituto Mexicano de la Radio says it’s the farthest along of all the broadcasters implementing HD Radio technology in that country, and is on-track to have its analog-to-digital conversions completed by the end of the year.

Known as IMER, the organization is the government-owned radio group in Mexico.

The broadcaster has agreed to convert stations across the entire country, according to iBiquity Digital Corp. Director of Business Development in Latin America John Schneider.

IMER told a Mexican broadcast publication it plans to have a total of 24 HD stations on 23 AM and FM frequencies, plus 18 multicast channels.

Additionally, IMER plans to air what it’s calling a “virtual” station because it was previously heard on shortwave, on an HD2 channel.

Schneider confirmed the figures for Radio World and said IMER has invested in a “substantial commitment” to HD Radio in the country.

IMER has three stations in Mexico City, where iBiquity celebrated the launch of HD Radio in Mexico during the spring NAB Show.

The Mexican government approved the voluntary use of HD Radio technology throughout the country more than a year ago. Previously HD had been limited to the border area of the U.S.

Schneider says interest in using HD is high among radio owners in Mexico, noting that the country’s digital radio launch is inheriting a mature technology both on the transmission and receive sides of the business.