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November 2012 l 31


with just a logo and basic programme data, or all that along with entertainment and travel news.”

Back in the early days of DAB the EPG was a major selling point of the technology but implementing it has taken longer than expected. Now EPGs are more viable and can be implemented on FM through the internet. FM has had interactivity for some time through RDS (Radio Data System), which is used predominantly for linking to traffic reports, but Piggott says the technology behind RadioDNS is more straightforward. “People can use existing IT techniques and don’t need to know about complicated RDS groups,” he says.

Internet radios and streaming

music players already offer a wide range of stations and supporting information, as well as access to individual music file libraries on personal computers. Piggott acknowledges this but argues that navigating round

these systems to find everything is often cumbersome. “There’s also more scope

with RadioDNS because if you can’t find a station on one platform you can find it on another because there is digital, streaming and FM to choose from,” he adds. RadioDNS receivers of all

forms – recognisable ‘kitchen radios’ and apps for tablets and phones – are now on the market and car manufacturers are also beginning to look seriously at the technology, something that is happening quicker than it did with DAB. While universal technologies

are still rare today, Piggott says RadioDNS is coming close to being that, with both European and US broadcasters implementing it. “America has slightly different versions of FM, RDS and digital radio,” he concludes, “but they are agreeing to go the same way as Europe on DNS. Which is unusually bold for a radio project.”n


Cross-border HD Voice broadcast opportunity

By Kevin Hilton

IN A WORLD first, telecom group Orange has connected the mobile networks of two countries using HD Voice. The higher quality link between Romania and Moldova could signal greater flexibility for broadcasters now using HD Voice for audio reporting. HD Voice is based on adaptive

multi-rate wide-band codecs delivering 7kHz or 3.5kHz audio bandwidth on 3G networks. Radio stations have adopted the technology for live reporting because it produces better quality connections than standard phone lines and is cheaper than ISDN. The spread of HD Voice is

increasing, with mobile networks

Glensound’s GS-MPI004 HD reporter’s mobile phone (here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed) is based on HD Voice

in 31 countries now offering it. Orange is operating the technology in 14 countries, including Belgium, France, Spain and the UK, with plans to launch services in Africa and the Middle East by the end of this year. Commenting on the cross-

border connection between Moldova and Romania, Paul- François Fournier, executive vice

president of Orange’s Technocentre, said: “Mobile HD Voice offers noticeably better audio quality and brings a real satisfaction to Orange clients. Almost 4 million customers have switched to HD Voice in 14 countries, compared to 1 million customers a year ago.” Among the manufacturers

producing broadcast equipment based on HD Voice is Glensound Electronics, which produces the GS-MPI004 HD reporter’s mobile phone. Sales and marketing manager, Marc Wilson, called Orange’s announcement “great news”, even though the connection was over only one border. “The significance for broadcast is huge,” he said. “As HD Voice awareness expands in broadcast, cross-border calling is a frequent request. I should think broadcasters such as the BBC World Service would be very interested as HD Voice borders open up.”n

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