Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DRM Consortium to demonstrate DRM’s Emergency Warning Feature for India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

The DRM Consortium is to demonstrate the Emergency Warning Feature (EWF) of the ITU recommended international Digital Radio Mondiale standard at a special event hosted by NDMA on November 22nd 2013.

The special session DRM – Disaster and Emergency Warning is scheduled for the final day of a four-day event to be held at the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management, Gandhinagar (Gujarat).  Presentations will made by Alexander Zink, Fraunhofer IIS, Vice-Chairman DRM Technical Committee, Radu Obreja, DRM Marketing Director and the Hon Chair of the DRM India Chapter, Yogendra Pal.

Those present will include senior officers of NDMA from nine coastal states and officials from the state broadcaster, All India Radio and Doordarshan, Ahmedabad.  The session will also include a technical demonstration of how emergency alerts and information can be signalled and managed using DRM in the country in general and the coastal states in particular. This standard is currently being rolled-out all over India by All India Radio.

Yogendra Pal adds: "The inbuilt Emergency Warning Feature in DRM is an excellent way to inform the public immediately about possible disasters and other emergencies. All the digital receivers get automatically tuned to audio and or data emergency warning signals in multiple languages, even if they are tuned to another station. India has nine coastal states, so this feature is of utmost importance to give emergency messages to fishermen and all those on ships. All India Radio is already in the process of installing 72 DRM transmitters, which will eventually cover about 70% of the population of the country. The Emergency Warning Feature is freely available in these transmitters. If the Government decides to use this feature, the only actions required would be to send the emergency signals to the transmitters. In parallel the Government would need to inform receiver manufacturers to incorporate this feature in digital receivers."  

Alexander Zink adds: "The DRM Emergency Warning Feature is a highly beneficial component of the digital transition, as it combines the natural benefits of digital radio in terms of content options and coverage for the benefit of the society as a whole – enhancing and going far beyond the pleasures of radio as an entertainment medium."

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has included the DRM Emergency Warning Functionality paper and recommendation in a recent document.   Click here for the ITU document in full.

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(Press Release)

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