USA Digital Radio Announces Test Markets for AM/FM Digital Radio

Last week, USA Digital Radio, a developer of In-Band On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcast (IBOC DAB) technology, announced an "aggressive" field-test campaign at 12 radio stations across the country. The company will be conducting the digital tests under experimental licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). With most equipment already installed, according to USA Digital Radio, test efforts are currently underway at several stations.

IBOC DAB is a broadcasting technology that uses the current radio spectrum to transmit existing AM and FM analog simultaneously with new digital signals. USA Digital Radio claims its IBOC DAB technology is designed to give consumers clearer, "CD-like" sound quality while listening to local radio stations, as well as to provide new data services displayed on a radio screen, such as song and artist identification, local traffic, weather, news, and more.

"USA Digital Radio pioneered the development of IBOC DAB, and conducted the first ever broadcast at WILL-FM, Urbana, Illinois in 1992. As part of our development efforts, USA Digital Radio has logged over 10,000 hours of IBOC DAB live broadcasts," said Robert J. Struble of USA Digital Radio, Inc. "This broad testing platform will provide regulatory bodies with the information they need to finalize plans for IBOC DAB implementation."

Glynn Walden, vice president of broadcast engineering for USA Digital Radio, adds that "it is important to choose multiple test markets that provide representative environments faced by radio stations around the country. We carefully selected these stations based on the guidelines established by the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC), which require challenging tests in conditions of multipath, noise, and interference. Successful performance in these rigorous test environments will prove our system's superiority as we continue to push forward with plans to bring IBOC to market."

The cities and stations included in the testing are:
New York: WNEW-FM (102.7), WCBS-AM (880)
Washington, DC: WETA-FM (90.9), WHFS-FM (99.1), WJFK-FM (106.7), WTOP-AM (1500)
San Francisco: KLLC-FM (97.3), KYCY-AM (1550)
Baltimore: WPOC-FM (93.1)
Cincinnati: WNOP-AM (740), Experimental test station 1660-AM
Columbia, Maryland: Experimental test station 93.5-FM