The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium welcomes the letter and spirit of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) of 2018 now ready for rollout. It recommends in a technology-neutral form that any car for rent or sale should have a radio receiver capable of receiving services provided via “digital terrestrial radio broadcasting” (without specifying any particular digital standard). It must now be transposed into national legislation by EU Member States by 21 December 2020.
This European initiative serves as a good example to all the countries and administrations around the world adopting or considering the rollout of DRM technology.
Even within Europe, digital terrestrial radio broadcasting covers more than one standard. With international DRM transmissions on the air in Europe and from other parts of the world into Europe, such an overarching act can hasten the radio digitisation. Existing multi-standard chipsets allow for one or two complementary standards to be used so that listeners have access to a variety of services provided nationally and internationally. So even in Europe adding DRM to car receivers in addition to DAB+ would be a good service for listeners as programmes are available (and this would be fully be in line with EECC).
Since the EECC adoption in December 2018, disaster and emergency warnings have become crucial and including the related digital radio feature EWF as a mandatory feature would strengthen the act.
The automotive industry is a global business. Some of the over 2.5 million car receivers on the road in India are provided by OEMs and car manufacturers that are present in selected European markets, too. If the need exists or grows in the future, providing digital terrestrial radio broadcasting capability will maintain their global profile and profits.
The EECC can thus send a positive signal to the whole world by showing the way to drive radio digitisation through a carefully balanced act that energises the automotive industry and does not benefit just restricted geographic areas and suppliers.
Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Chairman, said: “The EU act to become reality in December 2020 makes the car industry take note and work even harder for the multi-standard solutions that could be introduced even in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. The act is also significant because it urges the creation of an equal playing field for the car industry. It can also help with the roll out of digital radio whose aim is to offer continuous services across countries and continents giving listeners a chance to enjoy digital radio and its extra features, irrespective of the digital broadcasting platform used”.
Notes: Press Release - DRM Consortium - 6th October 2020