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Australian DAB+ Update (Issue 19)

IIssue 18 austn 2013 Commercial Radio Australia (CRA)  will begin serious dialogue with the Federal  Government and the Federal opposition about  funding for the rollout of DAB+ in regional  Australia. over 60 percent of the Australian  population has access to DAB+ in the five state  capitals of Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth  and Melbourne, and through the low power  trials in Canberra and Darwin it is clear that  both the industry and listeners are very keen for  regional radio to have access to DAB+ digital  radio, like their metropolitan counterparts.

Official data shows the DAB+ technology  tracking well ahead of forecasts. CRA’s most  recent release of data, at the end of the 3rd quarter of  2012 revealed digital  radio sales and listening  figures recorded  a significant rise.  The total number of  receivers sold since  the 2009 launch is over  1 million (1004,966) and listening figures from survey  8 show nearly 1.5 million people are now  listening via a DAB+ device each week.

DAB+ in regional Australia

After a complex channel planning and cost  modelling exercise with regional broadcasters,  CRA has developed and submitted a Regional  Rollout and Funding proposal for the Federal  Government.

DAB+ digital radio will result in a significant  upgrade to existing towers and site  infrastructure in regional Australia.  The rollout of digital radio in regional Australia  will involve building integrated digital radio  multiplexes with new broadcast antennae and transmission equipment in each of the  98 regional licence areas, and smaller infill  transmissions to ensure consistent reception  across the population centres of regional licence areas.

DAB+ in vehicles

With 34% of radio listening in the car, the  industry continues to work closely with  automotive   suppliers to  encourage them  to line fit DAB+  solutions.  With 16 million  registered vehicles on  the road in Australia, the  DAB+ aftermarket will be a  focus in early 2013.

CRA is planning a DAB+ breakfast workshop  for the automotive aftermarket installers  in February 2013 to provide advice and  information about coverage, receiver solutions  and how to optimise reception through antenna  placement. DAB+ is now available as standard  in Australia in; Toyota Camry Atara sL, Aurion  and hybrid sedans, hino trucks and Lexus  Gs. BMW, Audi, Land Rover and Mercedes offer DAB+ as an option. After market receivers  available include: Pure highway, Philips, Crystal,  JVC, Kenwood, sonyand Directed Electronics’  Orion.

DAB+ trials in Canberra, Darwin and On Channel RepeaterB in Melbourne

The Australian Communications and Media  Authority (ACMA) has extended the DAB+  scientific licences in Canberra and Darwin and  for the on Channel Repeater in Melbourne. Trial activities include testing the trade off  between capacity and signal robustness  for different Forward Error Correction (FEC)  code rates, under a range of geographical conditions.

other activities include single frequency  network sFn research which will have  implications for regional roll out, and evaluation  of DAB+ transmission performance under  extreme weather conditions such as tropical  storms and cyclones.

DAB+ in multimedia devices including mobile phone handsets

CRA continues to test adaptors and mobile  handsets which offer DAB+ as these further  develop the platform and offer listeners and  advertisers a hybrid device which uses the  push and power of free to air broadcast  to provide information whilst supporting  interactivity through the pull of the back  channel with information able to be sourced on  demand.

DAB+ in the Asia Pacific region

Broadcasters and regulators in the Asia Pacific  are increasingly aware of, and interested  in adopting, the DAB+ platform. CRA will  continue to host study tours from interested  broadcasters in the region and following  the successful DAB+ showcase in Jakarta  in 2012, is planning a DAB+ Technology  showcase in Thailand in March 2013 on behalf  of WorldDMB.

Commercial Radio Australia

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