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WorldDMB and FGA Collaborate for DAB+ in Italy

Meeting outlined common goals, future plans

Fiat Group Automobiles hosted a meeting of WorldDMB and Italian digital radio industry representatives at the beginning of February.

The meeting featured a presentation of the status of digital radio from WorldDMB President Patrick Hannon, as well as updates from Digital Radio UK, Digital Radio Deutschland, Germany, and a combined presentation from Digital Radio Italy (Club DAB Italia, Euro Dab Italia), as well as chip manufacturer NXP and RaiWay, the technical division of RAI public broadcaster.

The messages focused on drivers’ expectations for digital radio and the countries considering FM switch off, as well as the availability of automotive-grade chip sets and in-car user experience. Focus was also placed on coverage and DAB+’s ability to carry large amounts of data free to air.

“The collaboration with FIAT is a central point in the development of the digital radio market in Italy and in Europe. The workshops in Turin puts this collaboration into effect,” said Sergio Natucci, chief operations officer for Club DAB Italia.

Fiat outlined their plans for development; the brand now has four models with optional DAB+.

Digital Radio Italy reviewed recent promotional activities and plans for in-store sales training and three advertising campaigns; there will be a common ad campaign broadcast six to eight times per day for two to three weeks on 12 National Radio networks reaching 26m listeners daily.

RaiWay confirmed RAI has allocated approximately €6m to renew and develop infrastructure, and will install more than 60 transmitters between 2014 and 2015. They also support FGA in road testing receivers.