Russia might have digital radio in a couple of years

Friday 06 July, 2018

Digital radio broadcasting in Russia may begin in the next two to four years, according to a Radio 1 correspondent who spoke to the vice-president of the Russian Academy of Radio, Yuri Kostin.

"It can happen within two years, it can happen in four years - it all depends on the development of technology. The introduction of the DRM + standard is still in the plans. It is necessary to develop regulatory acts that will allow stations to obtain broadcasting rights. I think that those stations that already broadcast in the FM-band will get the right to broadcast in the standard DRM +. New players will not go there," Kostin said.

Alexander Zharov, the head of Roskomnadzor confirmed on the sidelines of the conference "The Future of Regional Radio" in Sochi that the technical possibility of switching to digital broadcasting standards in Russia exists.

"At present, the State Commission for Radio Frequencies has opened all the doors. We have registered the standard DRM + and DAB. But the choice should be for the industry," he told a Radio 1 correspondent.

The seventh edition of the conference took place on May 31 and June 1 with the support of the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications. The forum brought together more than 200 managers and key specialists from Russia's leading federal, regional and local radio stations.

Opening the conference, the president of the Russian Academy of Radio, Andrei Romanchenko also called DRM + the most promising standard for the use in Russia.

According to experts, the use of the DAB standard is also possible, but it meets the requirements of the infrastructure and market demands to a lesser degree.

The DAB system allows to launch a broadband signal (1536 kHz) on one frequency, capable of broadcasting more than 20 sound programs. One such signal is called a "multiplex".

The DRM + signal is 16 times narrower, its width is only 96 kHz. Narrowband DRM + signal allows transferring up to three stereo programs of audio broadcasting with better FM quality and a separate data transmission channel.

According to the RAR, there are 3405 radio stations broadcasting in Russia now - 117 stations less than a year ago.

Earlier in April, Minister of Communications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Nikiforov, held a meeting with the State Commission for Radio Frequencies (GKRC) during which the possibility of deploying DAB+ was discussed, where appropriate and dependent on availability of spectrum.

Later that month, AsiaRadioToday’s Steve Ahern also attended the four-day Media Together Festival, which discussed a range of current trends in Russian radio, led by big name local identities and several international speakers.

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