Digital radio on target for 2003 intro

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New Orleans - Plans to roll out digital radio are moving full-steam ahead, said Ibiquity CEO Bob Struble at the NAB Radio Show in New Orleans on Friday.

Ibiquity, which has submitted for evaluation hundreds of pages of test results to the National Radio Systems Committee, says commercial digital FM radio transmitters will be available by next April and commercial digital radio
receivers will be available by January 2003.

Struble pushed radio broadcasters to do their part to make the conversion to digital radio (or in-band on-channel
radio, known as IBOC), which will cost approximately
$75,000 per station, considerably less than the $1-$3
million it costs TV stations to convert. Struble also
said Ibiquity has plans in place that would allow
radio stations to make the conversion without
disrupting existing analog service.

Radio broadcasters are increasingly eager to convert to digital as satellite radio prepares to launch their national
digital systems starting in September. "IBOC is the
right system for U.S. broadcasters at the right time,"
said NAB President Eddie Fritts. "We look forward to
the early adoption and implementation of IBOC as the
U.S. standard." - Paige Albiniak

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