DRM+ Trial in the UK

For the first time, the technical capability of the DRM+ digital radio system in FM band II is going to be tested in the UK. The four month long trial, organised by the DRM Consortium and its partners, will take place in the Edinburgh area of Scotland from February 2011.

The DRM+ transmission will operate into an existing antenna that is shared with two FM services via a combiner. Those services cover more than 500,000 people in urban, suburban and rural terrain. It will be a closed technical trial with no direct involvement from the public.


The purpose of the trial is to measure the coverage of DRM+ operating in various transmission modes (lower capacity, higher ruggedness; higher capacity, lower ruggedness). There will also be a comparison of the coverage of FM and DRM+ in terms of transmitter power. Other objectives include being able to assess the impact of DRM+ on FM and vice-versa; demonstrate the performance of DRM+ in a range of environments, for example, urban, suburban, rural, etc., and therefore provide an analysis of performance against the challenges of these environments. The pattern of the antenna will also be measured, in order to correlate performance in different directions with the expected performance. The trial is also expected to provide suitable measurement data to international regulatory bodies, such as CEPT and ITU.

The trial transmissions will carry audio material consisting of both program and test sequences. At least two modes will be tested to allow planning parameters to be determined for different scenarios.

Digital radio provides many features to allow user-friendly, high quality radio to be broadcast, including use of station names rather than frequencies, consistent digital audio, additional text and visualisation, an EPG, alternaten service signalling, and automatic service following to DRM, DAB, FM and AM services.


DRM Chairperson Ruxandra Obreja says: “After recent trials in Sri Lanka, Germany, Italy and Brazil this will give us a chance to test the DRM standard in its DRM+ extension to an extent never done before in a complex and challenging environment. We hope that by the early summer we will have accumulated additional data on the robustness and flexibility of DRM+”