Digital Radio Mondiale - DRM30 and DRM+

The DRM standard

DRM, Digital Radio Mondiale, is a digital radio standard, approved by the DRM consortium in 1998. The consortium developed this digital transmission system for the AM-bands, i.e. for long-, medium- and short waves up to 30 MHz (DRM30) and launched this system worldwide. The extension of the DRM system family to upper frequency bands up to 174 MHz (DRM+) is standardized under ETSI ES 201980 V3.1.1 (2009-02-16).

DRM+

  • DRM+ is a spectrum efficient system with up to 186 kbps at only 96 kHz bandwidth.
  • COFDM modulation techniques enables robust mobile reception up to 300 km/h also in multipath environments.
  • DRM+ can be applied (but not mandatory) to the following frequency bands
    • 47 MHz to 68 MHz (old TV Band I)
    • 65.8 MHz to 74 MHz (OIRT FM Band)
    • 76 MHz to 90 MHz (Japanese FM Band)
    • 87.5 MHz to 107.9 MHz (FM Band II)
    • Possibly 174 MHz to 230 MHz (Band III) (not standardized)

Flexible Services

  • Possible data rates from 37 to 186 kbit/s allow for a flexible use of the multiplex.
  • DRM+ uses the same data services, multiplexing and signaling schemes as DRM30.
  • DRM+ features up to 4 services with excellent sound quality (MPEG4 HE-AAC v2.0) incl. 5.1 surround sound.
  • DRM+ allows for flexible use of the multiplex with respect to the number and type of programs (audio, data, video) subject to the broadcasters' needs and preferences.
  • Multimedia services like MOT, TPEG, EPG, Journaline, text messages etc. enhance the radio experience. Most of them are also standardized in DAB/DAB+.

Spectrum Planning

  • DRM+ is suitable for the digitalization of the FM frequency band.
  • DRM+ fits very well into a 200 kHz planning raster.
  • DRM+ can be set into the FM-spectrum free of interference.
  • DRM+ is more efficient than FM in terms of frequency usage and transmission power.
  • DRM+ enables single frequency networks (SFN) and transmitter diversity.
  • DRM+ offers the certitude to regional and local broadcasters to take part in the digitalization of radio.
  • DRM+ can be combined perfectly with the existing FM/DRM/DAB transmission networks and ensures switching between different programs on the receiver side.
  • DRM+ relaxes the planning of DAB+/DMB in Band lll, esp. on local and regional layers.

Launch

  • DRM+ implementation as a digital radio platform can be foreseen as of now:
    • in Europe in addition to DAB+/DMB for regional and local coverage
    • in countries without considering DAB/DAB+ as a primary replacement or
    • enhancement of the FM platform
  • Many countries are considering DRM+ as option of its digitalization strategy
  • DRM+ professional test equipment for transmitter and receiver sites is available.