The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium has welcomed the Indian government‘s approval of All India Radio (AIR)’s ambitious plan of converting its vast broadcasting network to digital using the DRM standard. India is one of the first countries in the world to implement such an extensive and well-researched plan to upgrade its radio infrastructure using the global open DRM radio technology and thereby ensuring that it can maintain significant reach to its 1.2 billion strong population whilst delivering enhanced radio services.
India’s Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure on Thursday 8 April gave its approval to the proposal from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding 11th Plan of Digitalisation where Rs 9.20 billion (approx US$200 million) have been earmarked for AIR to convert to digital which will cover approx 70 per cent of the country. By converting to digital, AIR will deliver enhanced radio services that offer crystal clear sound, increase user experience with additional functionality such as automatic tuning by station name, interactive user interface through digital screens that offer slide-shows and many other services like EPG, Journaline.
All India Radio (AIR) began moving towards digitisation with the adoption of the DRM standard after extensive field trials and tests since 2007 that was offering in their opinion the most ‘robust, reliable’ technology. Last year, it started a regular DRM broadcast from one of its high-power shortwave transmitters located at Khampur near Delhi and this year it acquired two high powered mediumwave DRM transmitters.