France moving on digital radio initiative


PARIS -- French radio is going digital, French Minister of Industry Francois Loos said Wednesday. Top Gallic frequencies Radio France, RMC, RTL, regional station group le Sirti, NRJ and the Lagardere group have joined forces with the aim of kickstarting the process of creating a national digital radio system, set to begin this year and finish in 2011.

The official digitalization plan, which utilizes terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting (T-DMB) technology, will be finalized and voted on by French broadcasting watchdog the CSA and the European Commission. If all goes as planned, the first digital receptors will replace FM radio by the end of this year.

Digital radio will offer Gallic listeners the opportunity to find their favorite stations through a simple search feature in addition to pausing, rewinding or pre-recording popular songs or programs. However, certain private French radio groups, such as Skyrock, have chosen not to go along with the changeover.