TRAI Chairman R S Sharma said that the policy should be supplemented by a comprehensive road map for the roll-out of these services in a time-bound manner.

Atom Digital Radio Friday, February 14, 2020 - 10:37

The telecom regulator, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has reportedly asked the government to come out with a clear policy in the digital broadcasting space. The Chairman of TRAI, R S Sharma, speaking at an event, disclosed this and said that one set of their recommendations and inputs for framing the policy has already been sent to the government and they are willing to offer more inputs if needed.

Sharma felt there was a need to bring all stakeholders on to one platform. These included the radio broadcasters, transmission equipment manufacturers and digital receiver manufacturers. A policy framework which will lay down the roadmap for prospective digital radio broadcaster was the need of the hour according to him.

The event itself was Digital Radio Vision for India and the organisers were Xperi Corporation and India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).

Apart from the service reaching the remote corners of the country, digital radio broadcasting is expected to be of use in disaster management.

Another perspective on the digital radio broadcasting was provided by the CEO of Prasar Bharati at the same event. Sashi S Vempati felt there was a need to have the digital radio broadcasting from the angle that it can help reach the signals directly to mobile phones. With so much of content being consumed on the mobile phones, both video and audio, he felt the time has come for the broadcasters to take a closer look at this business and work on it. According to him, Prasar Bharati has already entered into a MOU with IIT Kanpur for this purpose. The idea will be to avoid the choking of the telecom network through such broadcasts as well.

Sharma later shared more information on the auction of FM Radio channels for the Tier II and III towns. He claimed the TRAI’s recommendation for reserve price to be fixed for the auction will be sent by them within a week to the government. These auctions will be for the left-over spectrum and will be for those towns which had not been included in the earlier auctions.