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DRM Trial in Westbury, South Africa, with RFmondial Equipment

The Johannesburg community station WECODEC (Westbury Community Development Centre Trust), with support from the BBC World Service and Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits initiated a trial broadcast project to evaluate DRM Digital Radio Mondial in the VHF Bands (also known as DRM+) between March and October 2017.

As loan from the BBC WECODEC received a complete DRM transmission / broadcast chain, containing also RFmondial equipment. The RFmondial DRM ContentSever (based on Fraunhofer technology) was used for audio / data encoding and multiplexing. The RFmondial DRM Modulator prepared the signal for the VHF transmission. The RFmondial DRM Monitoring Receiver RF-SE12 was successfully used to setup the transmission equipment and perform the field trials.

Technically, this trial gave promising results with regards to coverage compared to FM in both urban and rural environments. Also it evidenced that there was no interference between DRM and FM in a real live broadcasting environment. For DRM+ it was the first time to be tested on the African continent.

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