For the anoraks and techies amongst you this was released here today:

RTÉ seeks digital radio broadcast licence

Following a successful six-month trial of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) digital radio, along the east coast from Dublin and north to Louth, RTÉ today announced its intention to seek a licence to begin a DAB digital radio service in this area later this year. Once this service is up and running, RTÉ is committed to engaging with the wider radio industry to achieve a national roll-out of DAB.

The advantages of digital radio include:

-More choice for the listener – DAB is capable of bringing a wide variety of content to our increasingly diverse audiences & new communities.

-Easy to use – DAB digital radios have push button controls and an information display, showing the channel playing on the screen. The radio shows a simple list of available stations, so there is no need to “twiddle” with controls to tune in. Some have pause and rewind and soon listeners will be able to programme digital radios to record favourite shows

-Clear sound, free of ‘hiss’.

-Compatible with FM – most DAB radios also receive FM. Listeners can tune into all the usual FM stations on their DAB radios.

-More efficient use of the spectrum – more stations fit on the dial

RTÉ, as Ireland’s Public Service Broadcaster, is leading the development of the future of radio in Ireland. The recent broadcast trial, which included six stations: RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm, RTÉ Radió na Gaelteachta, RTÉ lyric fm, Today fm, and WRN, on a single DAB multiplex (broadcast signal), demonstrated that RTÉ can now provide an excellent DAB service in this area. RTÉ chose the test area for its high population and building density and throughout the trial, homes in this area received a clear, clean signal. RTÉ is confident that the same quality reception will be achieved when the service is rolled out nationally.

Speaking about DAB digital radio, Adrian Moynes, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio remarked,“There is an opportunity for the radio industry as a whole to bring the benefits of digital radio to listeners. RTÉ will be working to involve all stakeholders – policy makers, regulators, commercial broadcasters and retailers – in the development of the future of radio on this island.”

DAB is already on air in nearly 40 countries and available to almost 475 million people worldwide. The average person in Ireland listens to approximately four hours of radio per day, with 84% of the population regularly listening to the radio. Radio is the soundtrack to, and part of the essential fabric, of our daily lives. RTÉ looks forward to this new medium that will broaden and enrich listeners’ experience of radio.