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"broadcast or broadband?" – survey on the future of terrestrial radio transmission commissioned by BLM and BR

11.03.2014 | 17 / 2014 / (englisch)

During the "radio is digital" event held in Munich on 11 March, 2013, the BLM, the regulatory authority for private broadcasters in bavaria and the BR, the bavarian public broadcaster, presented a survey on the future of terrestrial radio transmission which they had jointly commissioned from Prof. Dr. Gunther Friedl, chair of business administration – controlling at the Munich School of Management (TUM). The survey finds that DAB+ presents the only economical option for digital terrestrial radio transmission at least over the next 10 – 15 years.

Terrestrial radio transmission via LTE: cost 40 times higher than via DAB+

The survey compares the cost incurred in transmitting terrestrial radio in Bavaria via DAB+ and via LTE, based on current radio consumption. At present, 75 per cent of the audience listen to radio via stationary equipment while 25 per cent consume radio on the move. The survey takes a close look at mobile radio consumption which in Bavaria generates an annual data volume of 133.231 terrabytes. At current prices, transmitting these data for the mobile internet via LTE would incur costs of close to 617 million Euros per year while transmission via eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicard Service, an evolved LTE standard) would cost approx. 552 million Euros. Transmission via DAB+ accounts for just 15.5 million Euros annually, making LTE transmission approx. 40 times more expensive.

The survey therefore concludes that extending the DAB infrastructure is the only economical option for warranting future-proof terrestrial radio supply in Bavaria over the next 10 – 15 years at least.

BLM President Schneider: further expansion of DAB infrastructure and use of hybrid sets

Siegfried Schneider, the President of the BLM, on the results of the survey: "The results show that terrestrial radio supply via LTE only is no option for reasons of cost at least in the medium term. It would also cause higher expenditure for both radio providers and radio listeners. The BLM therefore opts for the further expansion of the DAB infrastructure. In our view, using hybrid radio sets allowing reception both via VHF and the various digital standards makes sense as it allows for an easy switchover from analogue to digital radio supply".

>>Contact: Dr. Wolfgang Flieger, Tel. (089) 63808-313, wolfgang.flieger@blm.de