2011 was a very busy and productive year for the Project Office. Many events and conferences, committees and workshops were both hosted and attended. Strategically 2011 was a year where attention was focused on supporting and championing the German radio industry in the run-up to the launch of the DAB+ network. This was successfully launched in August and a series of events have been held to mark the momentous occasion.
New Year – New Team
From January this year the new Project Director Bernie O’Neill joined WorldDMB. Since joining Bernie has worked closely with WorldDMB President, Jørn Jensen. A strategic long-term objective on starting in her role as Project Director has been to focus on strengthening the working methods and activities of the WorldDMB Project Office. This is to ensure a smooth and efficient support infrastructure is made readily available to members and the international radio industry as the migration from analogue to digital radio using the DAB family of standards increases in momentum in 2012 and onwards.
February began with the appointment of a new consultant for the WorldDMB Regulatory and Spectrum Committee (RSC) after Percy Pettersson retired. Mr Pettersson has been a long term supporter of WorldDMB and has been a valued member of the committee and the WorldDMB community. Radim Soukenka, who has replaced Mr Petterson as the WorldDMB RSC Consultant has already proved that he is very thorough in his monitoring of all spectrum-related activities in Europe. Mr Soukenka is an expert in radio spectrum and has previously worked for the Czech Republic telecommunication office for many years.
February also saw the WorldDMB Project Office attend the EBU Technical Meeting held at their annual Digital Radio Week in February. Bernie O’Neill gave a presentation on behalf of WorldDMB at the Digital Radio Summit on the current status of the DAB family around the world and the WorldDMB Technical Committee (TC) also met during the event. March The EBU Digital Radio Summit was followed by the Asia Broadcasting Union (ABU) Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. A WorldDMB Asia Pacific Committee meeting was held at the same event, where the APC chair Joan Warner met with many influential key stakeholders in the Asia Pacific digital broadcasting industry.
March also saw The Association of European Radios (AER)hold their annual conference in Brussels to which WorldDMB were invited to actively participate to update delegates on the latest news affecting the international digital radio industry. It was during this event that the Keynote, Madame Kroes (Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda) welcomed WorldDMB’s creation of the Receiver Profiles, citing them an example of “creative thinking”. She commented that “I think that there is great potential for digital radio, as the UK and Danish experiences demonstrate” and warned that radio must not get left behind in the digital revolution. The month finished with attendance at the international radio industry gathering in Copenhagen for Radiodays Europe 2012.
A new member of staff, Caroline Seville joined the Project Office as the Marketing Manager at the beginning of April. Caroline has experience of working for an industry body with experience in communications international membership management and events marketing. Within WorldDMB Caroline is responsible for WorldDMB communications, public relations, event management and oversight of the corporate image and brand identity of WorldDMB.
In May, work continued with raising the profile of the DAB standards and representing our members at events from Germany, Stockholm and Lyon. WorldDMB were on hand to show support for the launch of the Lyon RNT trial and celebrate positive movement in France, which has since been replicated with the demonstrations in Marseille and Paris. The meeting in Sweden, Radiopuls was very positive with strong messages of support for the DAB standards coming from the UK, Germany, Norway and Sweden. In attendance were representatives from companies such as digital radio Volvo and Saab who were demonstrating in the car. WorldDMB were also invited to be guests at the Broadcast Network Europe (BNE) meeting the next day where pledges were made to collaborate to ensure that the digital radio industry speaks with one voice on relevant issues.
The Project Office was invited to Warsaw for an event on visual radio in June. This focused on the potential future of DAB+ in Poland and was attended by over 50 delegates representing public and private broadcasters and senior industry stakeholders. Poland is currently increasing its activity on a proposed migration to DAB+ and the Project Office is supporting the radio industry by providing support in the form of information exchange.
The start of summer brought WorldDMB’s annual Car Workshop. Over 70 industry representatives attended the event in Munich, with attendees from companies such as BMW, Audi, Clarion, Bosch, Frontier Silicon, Daimler, Jaguar Landrover and many more. Further car workshops are planned for 2012, one in Europe and another in Asia.
Summer also saw the EBU Technical Assembly, a very successful Marketing Committee seminar in Berlin, an RSC meeting in Paris, a Steering Board meeting in Geneva and a visit to Hong Kong to meet key stakeholders in the DAB+ launch. The Project Office also attended Broadcast Asia in Singapore. Meanwhile, the Project Office were busy preparing for two major events in the digital broadcasting calendar – IBC and IFA.
WorldDMB Car Workshop
September saw the Project Office arrange for two information exchange sessions. Key stakeholders in the UK met delegates from KCC in Korea and later in the month from RTR/KommAustria. The attendees met with representatives from the public and commercial broadcasters, and also the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Ofcom. More meetings of this type for country representatives looking to find out more and or adopt the DAB standards are planned for 2012.
Our flagship event of the year, our General Assembly, was held in Zurich this year in October and we acknowledge sponsors of SRG SSR and Swisscom. The theme of the conference in 2011 was “Success through collaboration” and examined how different sectors of the industry need to work together to achieve a positive launch and rollout of digital broadcasting. Over 100 participants, representing more than 75 organisations from 18 countries attended. Other events and meetings attended in October included the Regulatory and Spectrum Committee in Oslo, Mediantage Munich and the Paris Motorshow.
WorldDMB Roll-out Seminars
The last part of the year continues, with a recent Marketing Committee Seminar in The Netherlands, where the Netherlands Public Broadcaster (NPO) confirmed its commitment to adopting and rolling out DAB+. The Project Office was also represented at both Telematics Munich and the ABU General Assembly in New Delhi. Also members of the Technical Committee gathered in London for their final meeting of the year. Finally the Project Office has moved to new premises on New Oxford Street, Central London and December brought the final Steering Board of 2011.
WorldDMB Project Office