Joan Warner, Chair, WorldDAB Asia Pacific Committee & CEO of Commercial Radio Australia
DAB+ in the Asia Pacific Region will be centre stage at the upcoming WorldDAB workshop and ABU Digital Radio Broadcasting Symposium.
A lineup of expert speakers covering regulation, technical planning and content will feature at both events. The WorldDAB workshop will take a different format this year, with a more hands-on, round table approach enabling broadcasters, regulators and content producers an opportunity to break into smaller groups and lead the direction with questions relevant to their current situation.
One of the groups at the WorldDAB workshop will look at how to enable broadcasters in the region to continue the planning for transition to digital radio. Spectrum is key and broadcasters need to signal their intentions to governments to make sure they have spectrum allocated that will allow them to choose a digital broadcast future. Broadcasters need to work with governments to make spectrum accessible – even if not quite ready yet.
International perspectives on the progression of DAB+
Professionals from around the globe will provide examples of what has worked in their particular markets and breakout groups will identify the common challenges which can delay decisions and planning for digital radio services.
The workshop in particular will highlight that spectrum is a finite resource and is under increasing threat from mobile telecommunications. Governments see an income stream from the sale of spectrum but they must remember that telcos can afford to pay more for spectrum because phones are a user pay commodity, whereas broadcast radio must be available to all and be free to air. Free to air radio is crucial to any region. It plays a critical role during times of emergency and informs, educates and entertains, across large areas in a cost effective and efficient manner.
DAB+ is for everyone
Radio must be accessible to all and so any spectrum allocation or arrangement must provide fair and equitable access. Whether spectrum is sold by governments to broadcasters or a third party, there must be equity and access for broadcasters to provide listeners across the Asia Pacific robust and reliable free to air broadcast radio services.
For those in the Asia Pacific Region, digital radio policy and planning must be progressed before the audiences find another form of digital entertainment and go elsewhere. The region is very positive about DAB+ and the WorldDAB Workshop and the ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium is a highlight of the broadcasting calendar that provides invaluable information sharing and networking opportunities.
I look forward to presenting the ABU DBS 2016 keynote presentation “How the Powerful Mix of Talent and Technology Can Future Proof Broadcasting”. I will be reminding radio broadcasters across the region that first and foremost we are content creators. We produce more content, more often and more cost effectively than anyone else and must use all platforms – AM, FM, DAB+, in cars, online, in phones, on social media and on any other new device or platform that comes to market to reach our audience.
WorldDAB is Principal Sponsor of the ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The WorldDAB DAB+ workshop takes place 29 February. More information can be found on the WorldDAB website.