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Taiwan’s digital radio services to take off ! - 6/9/2005 5:13:22 AM   

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On June 7, the Government Information Office (GIO) under the Executive Yuan indicated that it will issue eight DAB (digital audio broadcasting) licenses on June 22, kicking off DAB operations in Taiwan in the second half of this year. Three of the eight licenses are for nationwide operations and five are for regional with two in northern and southern Taiwan each and one for the central region, according to the GIO. The government will confer with the licensees about administrative assistance and official subsidization, the GIO indicated.

The government policy is to maintain DAB, digital wireless TV, digital cable TV and platforms established by operators of telecommunication services such as MOD (multi-media on demand) provided by Chunghwa Telecom, in competition as well as cooperation for the time being eventually integrating them, the GIO’s Department of Broadcasting Affairs pointed out.

With trail runs beginning in 2000, Taiwan’s promotion of DAB has lagged behind schedule due to overly high prices for DAB receivers, according to local industry sources. Currently, a home-use DAB receiver sells for around NT$5,000 (US$160) and car-use models for around NT$9,000 (US$288).

Taiwan has become the world’s largest producer of DAB receivers, accounting for over 50% of the global output in 2004, the sources indicated. Most of Taiwan’s production is for export to Europe, currently the globally most popular market of DAB services. In addition to receiving modules, Taiwanese maker E-TEN Information Systems has offered two DAB receiver models with functions of FM radio, MP3 player, and card reader. Sampo, one of the top makers of consumer electronics and electric home appliances in Taiwan, plans to offer portable DAB receivers later this year.

According to In-Stat forecast, the global sales volume of DAB receivers will grow from 1.02 million units in 2004 to 2.34 million this year and continuously to 13.35 million in 2008.

Source : DigiTimes
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