French broadcast transmission group TDF's traffic information subsidiary Mediamobile is leading the "Radio Numerique en Bande L" association in its bid to operate a digital radio network using the L band. Pending an autumn decision by broadcast regulator CSA about L band spectrum distribution, La Radio Numerique en Bande L could go live early next year. It aims to carry up to 30 radio stations and offer better sound quality than FM. Functions will include catch-up radio (podcasts), pause, and programme search by theme. Two packages will be built in partnership with big radio groups, newspapers and recognised data suppliers. Mediamobile, which has been using FM and mobile networks to deliver real-time traffic information for several years, will finance and deploy the network, and be the technical and commercial operator. Carmakers will integrate the price of the radio service into the reception equipment they sell for the equivalent of a tank of fuel. The same will apply to radio and GPS makers. Service revenues will be shared with publishers, carmakers, audio equipment makers and retailers. Mediamobile, whose backers also include Renault and motorways group Vinci, is also present throughout Scandinavia and in Poland.
(Source : telecompaper)