Low-cost DRM technology presents a golden opportunity

作者 Tim Whittaker | May 22, 2024

We’ve reached an exciting turning point for the world of digital radio where, at last, the full potential of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is within reach. This shift comes with the launch of a groundbreaking piece of DRM technology from CC and CML Micro that promises affordable, accessible connections for an audience of billions, offering a golden opportunity for radio manufacturers around the world.

What is DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale)?

For rural and traditionally underserved communities, digital radio can be the difference between isolation and connection. Offering high-quality audio over medium- and short-wave bands, DRM offers a superior listening experience from hundreds or even thousands of miles. With this enhanced broadcasting system, listeners can connect to the digital world with clear audio, text and pictures to provide news, entertainment, educational broadcasts and emergency warning alerts. And for broadcasters and regulators, making the switch to DRM can save them up to 90% in energy and maintenance costs thanks to the service’s superior coverage.

So, what’s been stopping DRM from taking off?

Until now, the market faced a stalemate due to a lack of low-cost, low-power DRM technology, hindering the service in reaching a broader audience. The lack of affordable, readily available DRM receivers created a cycle of hesitation – without receivers, why invest in the service, and without service providers, why manufacture receivers? Recognising that someone needed to take a leap of faith for the market to move forward, CC and CML Micro collaborated to create a true solution: the DRM1000 module.

Bridging the digital divide to reach a global audience

The DRM1000 module marks a turning point for radio manufacturers globally, enabling them to develop low-cost, low-power DRM receivers without no need for them to carry out any software development. With a price point comparable to existing low-cost, analogue tri-band radios and the ability to run for 30+ hours on simple AA batteries, solar power or wind-up, this innovation addresses the gap in the market, catering to the 40% of the global population without internet access.

With multiple nations now embracing the benefits of DRM on a huge scale, the moment for this technology has never been better. All India Radio has already rolled out DRM nationally for all its services, with Pakistan following suit with the installation of a DRM transmitter that will boost the coverage of Radio Pakistan to reach 52 countries across Central Asia, the Middle East, Far East, South Asia and eastern Europe. Meanwhile, Indonesia has also announced its adoption of DRM Digital Radio Standard across the nation’s 18,000 islands, spanning a population of over a quarter of a billion people, with China also already on the air with multiple DRM services and recently declaring plans for digital switch-over to DRM.

DRM’s audience is about to expand like never before. And while listeners have previously been confined to car radios or high-end portables, the launch of the DRM1000 module makes the service immensely more accessible to this extensive new audience. In fact, the technology’s release has already propelled the industry forward as Gospell Digital Technologies became the first manufacturer to utilise the module for two new low-cost portable DRM radios.

The revolution in digital radio has begun, and the potential for global connectivity to bridge the digital divide has never been more promising. Now, the call is for others to seize this golden opportunity to create affordable, accessible DRM receivers and contribute to the development of a truly accessible broadcasting service.

Find out more about the DRM1000 module and our mission to connect the unconnected with affordable digital radio.


Head of professional audio and video design services | お問い合わせ

After previously working as an engineer for the BBC and Royal Opera House, Tim has expertise in radio-enabling new and existing products for broadcast and media as well as the delivery of product design, wireless software and related IP.