The Future is DAB+
Dear colleagues and friends
Sadly this is my last official contribution to the WorldDMB Eureka! Newsletter in my capacity as WorldDMB President. In November at this year’s WorldDMB General Assembly, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, I will be handing over the WorldDMB presidency to my successor who will be announced at the event, and who I wish all the best as they take up the role of responsibility.
During my role as President for the last four years I have seen the market for the DAB family of standards reach a point of no return. More and more markets have adopted the DAB+ standard and early market adopters of the technology have set a date or are deciding on setting a date for FM switch off. This is a remarkable step for the digital radio industry as a whole. The momentum of the last four years was further reinforced earlier this year with the release of the EBU Recommendation R138 which recommends DAB+ is the future for terrestrial broadcasting in Europe. In Asia the last four years have seen also seen growing in the momentum in the uptake of the DAB family of standards, with new markets adopting DAB+ and others testing and trialing the technology. The future in both Europe and Asia Pacific is clearly DAB+ and we can now look to the continent of Africa as the next territory where DAB+ could make significant inroads in the coming years.
The last four years have seen also a dramatic drop in the price of receivers, as well as growth in the number of devices that are now available. This has provided an even greater incentive for countries with low GDP to adopt DAB+. The drop in prices of receivers is significant as we now see devices on the market from as low as 20 Euro (25USD). This will drop even further and will reach 15 Euro (20 USD) by 2015.
While the future is DAB+, we cannot be complacent. We have reached the point of no return with regards to market adoption and development of DAB+ and the growth in the range of choice and cost of DAB+ devices. However, we must continue in our work to bring digital radio more widely into the car and make it available in mobile handsets. WorldDMB will continue work on these important areas. The automotive industry is starting to more widely acknowledge that DAB+ is part of the future solution for in-car entertainment and safety but further progress needs to be made across all DAB/ DAB+ markets. Work is on-going by WorldDMB and its members to bring DAB+ as a standard feature into mobile handsets and I look forward to seeing developments in this area in the near future.
My final note is to extend a warm thank you to my colleagues, Steering Board and WorldDMB members and also to thank the Project Office for their hard work and support in helping make the future of radio broadcasting look so positively DAB+.