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Thailand to Test Digital Radio

MCOT ready to run trials in key provinces

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has partnered with eight state agencies to conduct a digital radio broadcasting test, according to The Nation.

They will use the existing infrastructures of the armed forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Police, Public Public Relations Department, secretariat of the House of Representatives and public service broadcaster MCOT. Digital radio will be transmitted over the VHF band, some of which currently carries analog terrestrial TV broadcasts.

MCOT operates 62 sites for FM and AM radio broadcasting and is ready to conduct the test run on its radio broadcasting towers in key provinces, according to Thanachai Wongthongsri, executive vice president of MCOT.

To ensure sufficient VHF bandwidth for digital radio, Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the Broadcasting Committee, said this transition to digital radio broadcasting will be in tandem with the analog TV switch-off process.

During the transition, state-run TV broadcasters holding VHF frequencies for analog terrestrial TV will relinquish the frequencies after they transition to digital transmissions, Sukonrat said.

The analog TV switch-off may take more than three years to complete; however, digital radio is expected to debut in in Thailand 2015.