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DRM Says India Trials Make Its Case

Consortium releases a summary of its own measurements in the recent trials

The DRM Consortium is characterizing its own data from recent FM-band trials in India as “extremely positive and very encouraging.”

Digital Radio Mondiale is one of two digital systems being considered by AIR (All India Radio) for local and regional services on the country’s FM band. HD Radio is the other platform in the running.

AIR is expected to make a recommendation to the country’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Tests and trials of DRM were done in February and March.

The AIR R&D organization did its own measurements but the DRM Consortium says it took measurements too. “While the final official recommendation of the AIR Committee is still awaited, the DRM Consortium has gathered and visualized the data and measurements it recorded in parallel with AIR in New Delhi and Jaipur,” the consortium said in an announcement Monday.

“The measurements clearly demonstrate that DRM as the global all-bands digital radio standard can deliver an unmatched number of digital audio services in the given spectrum (up to three audio plus one multimedia service per DRM signal block), while allowing for maximum utilization of the FM band spectrum (with every DRM signal occupying only 96 kHz spectrum bandwidth, half the bandwidth analog FM requires for a single audio service).”

It said that the trial confirmed that DRM transmissions would not interfere with ongoing analog FM services. “Also, DRM as a pure-digital radio standard proved its ability to efficiently broadcast multiple DRM signals side by side from a single transmitter (multi-DRM transmitter configuration), and for operating in flexible configurations alongside an analog FM signal from the same transmitter (simulcast transmitter configuration).”

Further, it said DRM could deliver Journaline advanced text service in multiple languages, “to be ready for delivering Emergency Warning Functionality (EWF with CAP interface), and to efficiently enable traffic, travel and online teaching services over broadcast, without requiring internet connectivity.”

DRM said reception in the FM band was demonstrated on various receivers of various types including car receivers and mobile phones. “It was proven that existing receiver models, already supporting DRM in the AM bands as adopted by India, can support DRM in all bands by a simple firmware upgrade without hardware modifications.”

The consortium has posted its overview of these findings (PDF).