Rosy future beckons for digital radio

I read with interest your article “Capital rules waves after Virgin buyout” (MW May 15). I would like to take issue with the statement from a “senior radio source” quoted as saying that “no-one in radio thinks that digital will be a success in the next ten years”. Rather a sweeping statement, surely.

The BBC has taken a leadership role in the launch of Digital Audio Broadcasting, and switched on its DAB services in l995, broadcasting Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5Live and two new services – BBC Parliament and 5 Live Sports Plus.

Additionally, two restricted service licence multiplexes are on air in London, transmitting ten commercial stations (including Classic and Talk Radio). After industry lobbying, the Radio Authority announced a “fast burn” approach to licensing plans for a speeded up commercial roll-out in spring 1998.

The European DAB Forum became the World DAB Forum at the start of this year, reflecting the breadth of interest in the adoption of DAB. What is more, we are expecting to see at least ten manufacturers launch DAB receivers at the IFA technology show in Berlin in September.

I have recently been addressing a number of retailer conferences and found that their enthusiasm for DAB is high.

DAB offers an opportunity to transmit text and data as well as audio in CD quality and the scope that it offers broadcasters is immense. DAB offers the opportunity for radio to reinvent itself. Like any new technology, we are at the start of a new product lifecycle, but with the considerable interest that is already being shown, we are sure that digital radio has a rosy future which is starting now.

Dominic Riley

Marketing manager

Digital Audio Broadcasting

BBC Radio

London W1

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