Dated: 15 April 2005
The Media Development Authority of Singapore has issued a five-year licence to Rediffusion, Singapore’s sole subscription radio broadcaster, to provide the world’s first Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) subscription service and operate its own DAB multiplex. By operating its own multiplex, Rediffusion would be able to broadcast on its own frequency and offer more channels. The licence takes effect from April 2005.
DAB is a significant advancement in radio technology since the introduction of FM stereo radios in the 1960s. DAB offers listeners CD-quality sound with minimal or low interference noise-to-signal ratio. It supports data services, enabling information such as song titles or the names of artistes, traffic and weather reports to be displayed on the LCD screens of digital radio receivers.
The first DAB licence –one for free-to-air services –in Singapore was issued to MediaCorp Radio in 1999. This is the first time, however, that a DAB licence is awarded for a subscription radio service.
Commenting on the issuance of the licence, Ms Ling Pek Ling, Director, Media Policy, said,”This is part of the MDA’s strategy to encourage the industry to develop innovative digital services and applications. We hope that more local industry players will come forward with such proposals to roll out digital broadcasting services and in the process provide more listening choices for consumers.”
The technology that enables subscriber’s access to the DAB service –known as conditional access –was developed right here in Singapore. Said Mr Daniel Chin, CEO of Rediffusion, “As part of our plans to roll out our new DAB multiplex service, we have developed a set of DAB receivers that is encrypted with conditional access for the wireless pay services application. The technology behind these receivers is entirely developed by our team in Singapore and this is the world’s first and only digital DAB conditional access system for the mass market.”
As part of the Media21 blueprint, the MDA works with relevant industry players to expedite the growth and deployment of digital services, content and applications, such as DAB.
With Rediffusion’s offer of up to 20 channels to tune in to under DAB, consumers in Singapore will have an even wider choice of radio stations to choose from, such as jazz, rap and even a children’s channel..
Currently, Rediffusion offers two pay radio channels Gold and Silver on analogue and simulcasts them on the multiplex operated by MediaCorp Radio. Rediffusion expects to first launch four new DAB channels by July 2005 and up to ten channels within the first year of operation.
Subscribers can also look forward to more varied choices as the company is currently negotiating with foreign players like Discovery Radio, Disney Radio, BBC and Sonic Theater for content.
For more information, please contact:
Media Development Authority of Singapore
Ms Kwan Sui Fen
Senior Management Executive
Tel : +65 6837 9364
Fax: +65 6336 4142
Ms Tan Poh Cheng
Corporate and Marketing Communications
Tel: +65 6837 9369