Mobile Networks Are Not a Replacement For Broadcast Radio

Mobile Networks Are Not a Replacement For Broadcast Radio
SHARE
THIS



A report released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and written by Professor Reg Coutts, finds that mobile broadband communications networks, particularly in regional areas, are not a replacement for broadcast free to air radio.

The report considers the potential for mobile networks to be expanded to a point where they are viable to accommodate all live free to air radio broadcasting at the same high quality to hundreds of thousands of listeners at the same time as a replacement for broadcast radio, and/or instead of rolling out DAB+ digital radio, which is currently available in the five major metropolitan cities.

The Coutts Report highlights that mobile networks in regional Australia are less cost effective compared to a potential DAB+ digital radio rollout in regional areas.  Even with upgraded 4G networks using the most advanced LTE broadcast mode, there are technical and economic reasons for radio to be delivered using free to air broadcast technology in both regional and metropolitan areas.

Following the submission to the Federal Government’s Digital Radio Discussion Paper earlier in the year, to assist with future planning, and to introduce into the general discourse the reality of technical capability of both broadcast radio and mobile networks for mass live and local free to air radio delivery, the commercial radio industry commissioned highly respected telecommunications expert, Professor Reg Coutts of Coutts Communications, to analyse the use of mobile telecommunications to deliver free to air broadcast radio in Australia.

CRA chief executive officer, Joan Warner said: “There are a lot of misperceptions around the future of broadcast radio, mobile networks and the delivery of radio online and this report shows it may not yet, or even in the longer term, be technically or financially viable.

“Listening to radio online is complementary and not a replacement of broadcast radio, whether it’s analogue or digital. Listeners use streaming as a convenient alternative. The commercial radio industry is continually assessing technological innovation and economic viability.  We recognise our listeners want to listen to radio wherever they are – in the car, at home, on their phone while in transit and as an industry we are constantly exploring the best way to achieve this.”

“Internet radio on smart phones by itself cannot substitute for broadcast radio. Broadcast digital radio is globally where innovation is happening. The Government is currently depriving regional listeners of digital radio unlike their city cousins who have both digital radio and internet radio. Innovative local radio broadcasters need broadcast digital radio which so necessary for regional communities to thrive in the future,” Professor Coutts said.

There are 220 commercial regional radio stations throughout Australia and, aside from questions over urban delivery, the report also suggests there is considerable uncertainty as to a plausible business model to support the upgrade of regional mobile networks from 3G to the most advanced form of 4G LTE Broadcast and it would also mean listeners would have to pay via their data plan for what they now can receive at no cost.

Importantly there would be significant impact on mobile cell capacity for other user’s applications (ie social media, internet browsing, video on demand etc) even if LTE Broadcast is able to be used to replicate broadcast radio’s live reach, robustness and quality. 

The radio industry has rolled out digital radio in the five state metropolitan capitals and like the television industry, who have completely switched to digital, is looking to secure its digital broadcast future by continuing a phased rollout of broadcast digital radio to regional Australia.

The findings of this Australian study are consistent with recent European reports which show mobile networks complement broadcast radio, but are unlikely to replace it in the foreseeable future.

The full Coutts Report is available here.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Case Study: How Content Helped Tribal Marketing Come To Life Amongst Rev-Heads.
  • Opinion

Case Study: How Content Helped Tribal Marketing Come To Life Amongst Rev-Heads.

In this guest post, CEO of content marketing agency Edge, Fergus Stoddart (pictured below), says brands would do well to play on their customer’s loyal tribalism… Normally over Christmas, any downtime is spent asleep on the sofa, mildly lubricated with a belly full. This year, with the Ashes in the background, I managed to stay awake […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Red Bull Holden Racing Team Unveils 2018 Cars On Sydney Harbour
  • Marketing

Red Bull Holden Racing Team Unveils 2018 Cars On Sydney Harbour

Red Bull Holden Racing team took the covers off its 2018 Holden Commodore Supercar today. Floating on a barge in Farm Cove, the harbour provided a stunning backdrop for the reveal. Teammates Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen have won the past two championships for the squad. Whincup, now the greatest of all time with seven Supercar’s titles, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]