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3 February, 2020 - 13:11 By Kate Sweeney

DAB hands at Frontier Smart add colour to radio revolution

Cambridge-based Frontier Smart Technologies is helping to enrich the digital radio experience by supporting integration of full colour displays into DAB+ radios.

All Frontier modules now include support for a colour user interface, which allows users to benefit from the Slideshow services being offered by leading broadcasters around the world.

Slideshow is a core feature of DAB/DAB+ and enables radio stations to offer colour images, such as station logos, track and artist information, weather maps and traffic updates. 

Today major stations in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and the UK all produce visual content delivered through Slideshow.
The Frontier business is anchored at Harston Mill in Cambridge following the acquisition by Science Group plc.

Managing director Prem Rajalingham said: “We are delighted the technology benefits of DAB+ are being realised and Slideshow is being adopted by broadcasters with real enthusiasm. 

“Powerful visual content completes digital radio experience. Frontier Smart Technologies is a leading driver of improved radio standards. We plan to continue leading digital radio development for the next 10 years and more.”

DAB+ is now the de facto standard for digital radio in Europe – with national services achieving record listening numbers in Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Austria and Czech Republic. 

France is due to launch national services later this year. Further afield, Australia continues to expand its coverage – now reaching eight major cities. This growth is underpinned by important regulatory developments in key markets. Italy and France have already introduced laws requiring all new radio receivers to have DAB+.

Germany has introduced a law requiring all consumer receivers capable of displaying a station’s name to have digital capability (either DAB+ or IP) from the end of 2020. Finally, across the EU, from December 21, 2020, all new car radios must be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio.

The next major spur to market growth is expected to be the switch-off of FM in Switzerland, which the Swiss regulator has confirmed will take place by the end of 2024. Further announcements on this subject are expected later this year.

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