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Radio News (more headlines) 11-18-2012

Euro-Chip Will Mobilize Digital Radio's Future

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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has launched a campaign for all new radios and mobile devices to be fitted with a 'Euro-Chip', which will give Digital Radio vital impetus and a surer future in Europe.

Euro-Chip integrates the main radio standards, such as digital (DAB/DAB+/DMB) and analogue (FM), into one universal radio receiver, overcoming incompatibilities and bringing important benefits to broadcasters, manufacturers and consumers.

Owners of any device containing a live Euro-Chip – including smartphones and tablets – can enjoy cost-free broadcast reception, even as they cross international borders or pass between digital and analogue signals.

Crucially, Euro-Chipped smartphones will draw younger people to radio; EBU research consistently confirms that it is the device, and not the delivery system, that matters most to them.

The technology will also enhance radio's role as the optimum communications medium in the event of networks failure, during for instance, natural disasters; at these pressured times, broadcast networks usually continue to work.

The EBU wants action on several levels:

* Although many devices have been fitted with a radio chip, dormant chips must be activated.
* Radio chip tools should be open and accessible for creative minds to develop new applications.
* Any future radios and smart devices must contain active Euro-Chips when they reach the shelves.

To this end, the EBU will talk to key stakeholders, such as carmakers, legislators and electronics manufacturers, to spread universal awareness of the huge opportunity that Euro-Chip represents.

EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot said: "Radio is extremely popular in Europe, but it has not enjoyed the same momentum as television, notably in the consumer electronics sphere. We want to send a clear signal that the EBU is determined to make radio a key part of Europe's digital future."

The EBU Executive Board has agreed a declaration in support of Euro-Chip, which lists the reasons why Euro-Chip is essential:

* Efficient network use: Euro-Chip eases pressure on mobile broadband networks while making full use of spectrum allocations for digital and analogue radio.

* Cost-free listening: In mobile phones, Euro-Chip enables audiences to receive broadcast services everywhere at no incremental cost. Consumers will not need to pay for broadband reception of free-to-air radio services.

* An Internal Market-friendly device: future-proof and interoperable, Euro-Chip enables radio reception in dozens of countries.

* Huge potential for innovative radio services: access to radio chips and hybrid radio services will engender new business models, creative opportunities and audience interaction.

* Enhanced public safety: Radio is the most resilient communications medium in natural disasters and national emergencies, a feature that Euro-Chip will enhance by increasing radio's reach. Euro-Chip will also boost road safety in Europe by simplifying the delivery of real-time, language-independent traffic information about local and cross-border conditions.

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