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Digital radio and TV are high on the Indian government agenda. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is looking at developing a roadmap for ramping up the rollout of digital terrestrial radio and television.
According to the Indian press, Prasar Bharati, the public radio and TV broadcaster, announced on Jan. 13 that it is in advanced stages of testing digital technology options for FM radio. A recommendation will be finalized soon to roll out digital FM radio in the country. Pure and simulcast Digital Radio Mondiale channels in AM are already available in many Indian cities and regions.
There had been rumors circulating that Prasar Bharati was closing AIR stations, but the broadcaster made it clear that those stories were untrue. In fact, it is moving ahead in strengthening All India Radio and expanding its network with more than 100 new FM radio transmitters across India.
Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has already recommended that the Ministry issue a digital radio policy for various radio broadcasting bands, including the FM frequencies. The Ministry is focused on developing a phased roadmap of a complete switchover to digital radio in the country.