Tag Archives: radio

Sound Digital applies for National Digital Radio Licence

Sound Digital, the joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer and UTV in 2014, has today unveiled its ambition to deliver a step-change in choice for listeners by providing access to 15 distinctive national digital radio stations.  The plans are detailed in Sound Digital’s application to operate the licence for the UK’s second national commercial DAB multiplex.

Sound Digital’s goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.  This will be driven by the unprecedented strength of the digital-only brands broadcast on its network, its strategy for promoting digital take-up and the financial security provided by its shareholders’ firm commitments to the company.

Sound Digital’s line-up comprises popular, well-loved brands which will be entirely or predominantly exclusive to digital radio:

  • UTV will launch three original speech stations – talkRADIO, talkSPORT 2 and talkBUSINESS – significantly extending choice and plurality in a sector currently dominated by the BBC.
  • Bauer will offer high quality music stations catering to a broad spectrum of musical taste, including Magic Mellow, KISSTORY and heat radio, along with highly successful digital stations Absolute 80s and Planet Rock.
  • Virgin Radio will return to the UK airwaves under a partnership between the Virgin Group and UTV.  Sound Digital will also offer a non-mainstream music station, which Jazz FM has signed an agreement to provide.
  • Stations will also cater to specific areas of interest for which there is additional national demand: UCB Inspirational and Premier Christian Radio for Christian audiences, Sunrise Radio and British Muslim Radio.
  • To lay the foundation of a future migration to DAB+ and accelerate take-up of DAB+ compatible radios, Sound Digital will launch a DAB+ channel. The programming content of this ground-breaking channel will be revealed ahead of launch.

Independent research by YouGov with over 4000 adults shows very strong collective appeal for Sound Digital’s stations, with 79% saying that they would listen to at least one of the stations.

Each of Sound Digital’s 15 services is fully committed under binding commitments made by the shareholders and by third party content providers, providing certainty to Ofcom that Sound Digital will deliver on its licence application proposals.

Sound Digital’s planned transmission network is differentiated from the existing national multiplex by its focus on digital-only stations including start-up operators and new entrants.  The network balances cost-effectiveness with high quality national coverage, reaching over 46 million people and an estimated 88% of vehicles on the move.

The presence within Sound Digital’s line-up of recognised brands which will be exclusive to digital radio heralds a major new chapter for the DAB platform.  To realise this potential, Sound Digital will initiate a high-impact promotional strategy for digital radio, coordinated with partners including retailers, manufacturers and the vehicle industry.  Sound Digital is committing media support and cross-promotion worth £15m over six years.

If awarded the UK’s second national DAB multiplex licence by Ofcom, Sound Digital will launch its network within 12 months.

“Sound Digital’s goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.  Our application pools our collective experience, expertise and financial backing to provide certainty that Sound Digital will deliver on its commitment to build and launch a new national digital radio network within 12 months of Ofcom’s decision, and to maintain the network for the full 12 year licence term.”

“Sound Digital’s proposals are fantastic news for radio listeners, with an unprecedented expansion of choice in speech and music radio content. As well as providing expansion opportunities for existing successful digital broadcasters like Bauer, our network’s cost-effectiveness and open and accessible approach ensure that Sound Digital caters to the full range of digital radio content providers.”

“Sound Digital’s plans combine popular, well-loved brands such as the return of Virgin Radio with unique content including three brand new speech radio stations. The result will be a major increase in choice for audiences that already have digital radio, and a surge in take-up from those that don’t. This is fantastic news not just for listeners but for the wider radio industry.”

Source: Arqiva




Tait on board with Emirates Team NZ for America’s Cup bid

Tait on board with Emirates Team NZ for America’s Cup bid

  • ETNZ is equipped with 22 of the latest Tait TP9400 digital portable radios, providing the sailors and support crew with highly secure, crystal-clear communications on the water.

Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) will have the backing of cutting-edge digital radios from Tait Communications when they take to the water next week for their tilt at sailing’s biggest prize, the America’s Cup.

The team has been equipped with 22 of the latest Tait TP9400 digital portable radios, providing the sailors and support crew with highly secure, crystal-clear communications on the water.

The radios feature the same sophisticated encryption employed by police forces around the globe to prevent the interception of sensitive communications—vital for keeping ETNZ’s team secrets safe from competitors.

“We’re competing in a regatta that is high-tech in every sense of the word, which demands world-class technology,” says the team’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Shoebridge.

“On the water, we need to be able to monitor ever-changing conditions, assess different options and react in seconds. The Tait radios are a critical tool on-deck, allowing the team to work together with maximum speed and effectiveness when it really counts.

“Furthermore, the built-in encryption makes sure the team’s communication stays private. As we approach the start of the series, the stakes get higher and competitors will spy on each other to seek any advantage.

“It’s a special thing to know we’re being backed by world-leading technology designed and engineered right here in New Zealand,” adds Shoebridge.

ETNZ uses the Tait portable and mobile radios on the yachts, chase-boats and hospitality boat. The highly ruggedized radios have been designed and built to withstand the harsh marine environment in which the team operates.

Tait Chief Marketing Officer James Kyd says, “Tait has proudly been on board with ETNZ since 2005. It’s a case of one New Zealand success story backing another, and we’re very pleased to equip the team with the very latest in radio technology for their America’s Cup campaign.”

Source: Tait

Faster broadband coming to planes, trains and ships as UK eyes spectrum changes

The UK is looking to open up spectrum currently used by satellite Earth stations for vehicle-mounted stations that could boost broadband capacity in aircraft, ships and trains.

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom is hoping to spur innovation in mobile broadband services by making it easier for satellite operators to use ‘Earth stations on mobile platforms’ (ESOMPs) to deliver passenger broadband.

Ofcom has proposed (PDF) three frequency bands that operators could apply for to support mobile Earth stations mounted on aircraft, ships or other land-based vehicles.

While alternative technologies are already used to provide wi-fi on board in transport, the regulator believes the spectrum could be used to provide links with higher capacity and spur a new market for mobile communications.

Several satellite operators are planning to launch commercial satellite networks in 2013 and 2014 that support the use of mobile earth stations transmitting in the 27.5GHz to 30GHz range, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom also points out that recent advances in stabilised antenna technology make it possible for earth station antennas to track a satellite in orbit even when it’s mounted on a fast moving platform.

While there was a risk the mobile Earth stations could cause interference to other fixed site satellite networks, Ofcom considered that risk “very low”. With the appropriate controls, the mobile stations would cause no more interference than fixed-site earth stations, it said.

It also notes that the aircraft and ship-mounted Earth stations can already operate in international airspace and waters, but that parts of these frequency ranges are used by terrestrial radio systems in some countries. That’s why Ofcom was proposing frequency ranges that are already authorised for satellite Earth station applications, such as the permanent Earth stations and high density fixed-satellite services.

Key proposals Ofcom is seeking feedback on under a public consultation are:

  • Radio equipment for land-based ESOMPs should be exempted from the need to have a Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 licence
  • Radio equipment for aircraft and ship mounted ESOMPs should be licensed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 rather than licence-exempt
  • Licensing of aircraft-mounted ESOMPs should be done through variation of the aircraft radio licence issued on Ofcom’s behalf by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with no additional fee
  • Licensing of ship-mounted ESOMPs should be done through variation of the ship radio licence with no additional fee.

The deadline for stakeholders to respond to the proposal is 10 October 2013 and Ofcom expects to release a statement on the consultation in December.

Source: Liam Tung ZDnet

Topics: Broadband, United Kingdom, Wi-Fi