DRM Newsletter


November 2020

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Dear Friends, Colleagues and Partners,

November has already delivered a crop of good news for DRM, despite the continued uncertainty fed by the global pandemic. During the Indian festival of lights (Diwali), a couple of days ago, the Indian public broadcaster announced the extension of pure DRM transmissions in key Indian metros like Delhi or Mumbai. An alliance between a Chinese receiver manufacturer and an Indian distributor is good news for Indian listeners, too.

For others, November is not necessarily associated with light but rather with gloom and lack of sunshine. But no matter what, November brings changes to all shortwave broadcast schedules. And these depend on light and sun. You will find out why and how in a detailed article below.

In this newsletter we also give details about the great step taken by South Africa on the road of terrestrial audio digitisation. Though only in draft this gives us a glimpse into the methodical way of possibly digitising broadcasters small and big in the country. Already in late October we have celebrated the ETSI day and recently we announced the adoption of two new DRM ETSI specifications. Beyond the dry language of “specifications”, these give DRM new attributes and make it even more user-friendly and aligned with other digital standards. Please read more below.

November is also a month of anniversaries and we can give you details about the birth of commercial radio in the US as well as other insights which make this November newsletter a must for radio practitioners.

Your questions and our answers on all things DRM continue to come and can be seen now on the DRM website. More detailed answers can also be found in the latest version(5) of our DRM Handbook, which brings updates and improvements for all those interested in understanding and implementing DRM in their country. 

Please do not hesitate to send us your DRM questions (with names and pictures for publication in the newsletter).

And for all those listening to the DRM transmissions please make sure that you check and send us your feedback on the new schedules published on

Please help us make this newsletter richer, better, more complete by submitting your ideas, questions and suggestions.

Finally, please do not forget to join us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.  And if you want to join the Consortium please contact  

Ruxandra Obreja 
Chair, DRM Consortium 

IMPORTANT: In line with the new EU policy on privacy, please let us know, if you do not want us to send you emails or hold your mail address.

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Latest News

South Africa Takes Positive Step Towards Creating Radio Digitisation Framework

Following from the publication of its policy on sound broadcasting digitisation in July, the South African regulator has worked hard and just published draft regulations on how this policy can become reality.  Read more


The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has recently published two specifications for Digital Radio Mondiale. Read more

Pure DRM Broadcast Hours Extended in India

All India Radio (AIR) has extended its pure DRM transmissions on 4 key DRM mediumwave transmitters.  Read more

Gospell DRM Receiver Cooperates with Distributor in India

In order to provide Indian consumers with better services and more convenient purchasing channels, Gospell (Gospell Digital Technology Co., Ltd) and Antriskh (Antriksh Digital Solution LLP) of India have reached a cooperation agreement on the sales of DRM digital radio products in the Indian market.   Read more

Radio Marti Back on Air

Radio Marti which broadcasts in Spanish to Cuba has resumed its shortwave DRM transmissions with a schedule daily, 7345 kHz, 1700 – 0200 UTC.  Radio Marti is one of the stations administered by the USAGM.

In a podcast, Gerhard Straub of the USAGM, discusses the coordination of the US Government’s shortwave networks.  More here

Challenges of Analogue and Digital Broadcasting on Shortwave

Shortwave knows no boundaries or international borders and despite its apparent decline over recent years, it continues to provide a lifeline service for audiences over large areas or in remote corners of the planet and territories where free access to news, information or education is tightly controlled.  Now “digital shortwave” in the form of Digital Radio Mondiale, DRM, is here (and not just on the shortwave bands!). But what are the challenges of broadcasting on the traditional “AM” wavebands? Neale Bateman, representing Encompass Media Services on the DRM Steering Board, offers us more explanation.  Read more

We would like to thank Neale for his great support and contribution to the worldwide DRM project. His expertise and knowledge are invaluable and as Consultant Broadcast Engineer NEALE BATEMAN will remain close to the DRM Consortium.  All our members thank him for his hard work and wish him luck in the next chapter of his professional life.

Blog: Who’s Afraid of DRM?

Following months of consultation on the revitalisation of the mediumwave band in the US by the FCC, the Commission gave the green light for broadcasters to broadcast all digital in HD. The Commission also noted the interest by some broadcasters in “alternative technologies” (i.e. DRM), which, after further tests, could be considered.  Using the opportunity offered by the FCC in their statement, Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium Chair writes in Radio World that DRM is ready to prove its advantages. DRM an ITU recommended standard for mediumwave, has been tested and documented about two decades ago. Read more

More here on the FCC ruling.

Celebrating 100 Years of Commercial Broadcasting

Commercial radio started in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) almost by chance when Frank Conrad needed to play music between voice announcements. Eventually Frank ran out of music records he was buying from a local store.  The store owner proposed to supply Frank with records for free, but he wanted the name of his store to be mentioned each time a record was played on the radio.  A quid pro quo arrangement took place and this marked the very beginning of commercial broadcasting.

You will find the following link (albeit 3.5h long) interesting and entertaining.  We learned that the term "broadcasting" was borrowed from farming.  Seeds are "broadcast" over the fields. Now we broadcast data in lieu of seeds.  Read more

Around the Web

Radio still sells more than TV in the USA

BBC’s Head of Local Radio’s Views on local Broadcasting

World Standards Day observed

COVID-19 reminds us of role of radio in society

India digital learning

Tesla car fix

Did you know?

  • Following requests from our readers, we have updated the DRM schedules on our website. So please check for yourself!  List of DRM transmissions Interactive map Over 30 broadcasters carry regular DRM transmissions, covering almost half the world’s population. Updated to 31 March 2021
  • The latest Licensing information for DRM is available on the Via Licensing website
  • The DRM standard as recommended by ITU and ETSIincludes built-in Emergency Warning tools for swift and effective mass-notification in crises.   Listen here.
  • DRM publishes a special monthly Noticeboard for India, and a new India page pulls together key DRM information on India.  
  • 'The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Standard at a Glance' – a complete guide to the DRM standard.
  • The DRM Handbook has been updated to include the latest information on DRM for local coverage and the most recent tests and are available online, in English and Russian.
  • A new video explanation of the coverage, deployment and practical implementation of DRM is available.


Upcoming events:

16 November - 17 December ABU General Assembly and Assoc meetings

29 November – 01 December IMTEC



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