DAB

DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) completes to today's FM coverage management for quite a while and will replace it in the future. This transition period will last probably, depending on market development, between 7 to 12 years. The latest is estimated to happen in 15 years. England and several other European countries already have shown a strong growing demand and increasing population of DAB audience. With DAB the utilisation period can be increased and cost savings can be achieved on a long term basis. DAB is the only digital radio system, which will be established in Europe and other continents. It already did in some cases. From the technical point of view, other system are possible, but still the biggest task it not the construction of new broadcast networks, but the expand the number radio receivers among the audience. Neither Switzerland as a broadcasting area nor single private radios can achieve this target. This very big project can only be achieved on a European level. Therefore any investments in other systems do not make sense from the economical point of view.

Compared to the other known systems such as DVB, IBOC or HD-Radio, DAB has true advantages which allow profitability perspectives. DAB gives you the better reception with less transmission sites, and gives the possibility of new expanding channels for extra programs or data services. Also DAB is the platform, which meets the broadcasting demands of the future. The opinion, that the Swiss radio stations can make own decisions on systems changes or have an influence on other systems, or new programs which will established on the market, are not correct. Satellite radio and multimedia programs (like XM-Radio in the US) for the future for mobile reception prove, that these questions are out of date. To change digital radio expands platform makes sense only, when there will be a long term benefit and if it gives advantages to the content providers (radio-stations and others) and the audience. At the same time comparing products and services like MP3 players and multimedia applications on GSM, Edge or UMTS should be monitored closely. At the moment the DAB can cover all these conditions.

Digital radio is not only a technical matter, but it is mainly the matter of financial fund raising, as well as new media law and the strategy of each radio station. Digital radio / DAB causes huge challenges to Swiss radio stations. One can use these facts with positive skills and if one is late it can be a threat. Also the change of structuring in the radio branch demands an active political dialog. This bears an opportunity to the private radio stations to recover reception quality versus the Swiss Broadcasting company (SRG/SSR), but also the risk to be put in to the status of second class radios. In any case new expanded channels for radio program - with or without private radios - will be established(also via Satellite for mobile receiver). Every private radio stations should initiate their own strategies to refer to the time, when up to one hundred of pan Europe radio programs will be received all over the country.

New products of transmission systems will be necessary. The very interesting thing is multimedia and DAB-ability automatic station program like DABIS. If there will be no change by tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, the DAB market can now develop faster than up to now. The success in the UK has stimulated the invests and product suppliers. The big potential in other European countries is obvious.

SRG/SSR (Swiss Broadcasting Company) will continue to establish a demand for the DAB receivers. Therefore SRG/SSR will maintain the leadership for DAB in Switzerland.