Frontier Silicon, a primary supplier of digital radio chipsets and modules, says it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with four commercial radio broadcasters slated to occupy channels on a new national German DAB+ multiplex. The LOI confirms a four-year commitment by the firm to buy ad time from the broadcasters.
Germany's decision to move forward with DAB+ came last June after that country's organization for the administration of broadcast funds, the Kommission zur Ermittlung des Finanzbedarfs der Rundfunkanstalten (KEF) (and if your German is rusty, that's the Commission for the Determination of the Financial Requirement of the Broadcasting Corporations), decided to financially support the technology -- something the group officially opposed as recently as 18 months ago.
Germany's commercial broadcasters soured on digital radio after DAB failed to catch on earlier in the decade, yielding a near-zero ROI.
Although the commercial sector has been slow to re-commit to digital, encouragement from advertisers and public broadcasters coupled with improved receiver availability have eased commercial opposition from within KEF's ranks, paving the way for a DAB+ launch.
The country's first multiplex is expected to switch on in the first half of 2011. Signals available via DAB+ will initially include three channels from public broadcaster Deutschlandradio along with six commercial channels.
Media Broadcast will operate the transmission network.