Digital Radio Mondiale, an international not-for-profit organization that implements digital audio broadcasting technologies, has set its eyes on expanding its platform into Southern Africa that would not only increase the use of digital radio but fulfill the continent’s mission to migrating to digital broadcasting by June 2015.
To date, at least six African countries have began digital broadcasting in parallel with analogue signals, with nine carrying out pilot transmissions while 28 yet to begin, notes the Association for Progressive Communications an international network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering groups and individuals.
The digital transition in broadcasting is a global process involving the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting signals. Several countries have completed this transition with many more who are making the transition. As a new development, DRM is set to launch a southern Africa DRM Platform on 25th June, in a bid to encourage the launch of DRM broadcasts while promote the design and production of radio sets and auxiliary devices in the region.
The radio technology known as Digital Audio Broadcasting is currently operated in several regions either in the form of full commercial studies or trials. The growing user base lies in Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, South Korea, while in Africa South Africa and Ghana are have also joined the trend, reports say.
Ruxandra Obreja the DRM Chairman noted that the DRM global standard could be used in all radio frequency bands and is ideal for southern Africa countries. He added that national networks, regional stations and community stations would be able to broadcast their digital radio programs with enhanced sound quality to listeners of the stations in respective countries.
“DRM is an ideal African digital solution and we have high hopes of the activity of the newly created DRM southern Africa Platform, now open to all those interested,” he told ScreenAfrica.
The DRM standard consists of DRM30 and DRM+ configurations, in which, DRM30 is intended for short, medium and long wave broadcasts up to 30 MHz, able to offer ample coverage. VHF bands above 30 MHz under the DRM+ configuration are designed with broadcaster-controlled transmissions for local and regional coverage. Radio Pulpit will be responsible for the first DRM medium wave trial.
In all, while African countries are slowly migrating to digital broadcasting by June 2015, the process of the digital transition in broadcasting would generally involve re-allocating frequencies, as noted by the International Telecommunication Union’s Regional Telecommunication Conference (RRC).