Traditional Digital Radio
By David Dritsas
It will be important for the retailer to remember digital radio for the traditional radio market. Just as the television industry is attempting, albeit in fits and starts, to upgrade to digital, iBiquity is championing the cause for radio. iBiquity is the result of last August's merger between Lucent Digital Radio and USA Digital, once competitors with different methods of upgrading the analog radio to digital.
iBiquity is in the process of obtaining Federal Communica-tions Commission approval for what was originally USA Digital's IBOC DAB technology, named iDAB. iDAB upgrades radio stations to transmit what iBiquity says is CD-quality digital radio, with the potential for new applications, such as additional datacasting. As part of the FCC proposal, both digital and analog signals of all stations would be available for approximately 10 years. Unlike their television cousins, radio broadcasters will only incur costs as high as $200,000 to upgrade from analog radio.