HD Radio goes south of the border


iBiquity’s HD Radio is hardly a newcomer to Mexico. Stations in border areas have already been authorized to use the digital radio system already in widespread use in the United States. Now, though, HD Radio is officially sanctioned for all of Mexico.

COFETEL, Mexico’s spectrum regulating agency, has finalized the regulatory process selecting HD Radio Technology as a digital radio standard for the AM and FM bands in Mexico.
The decision authorizing the In Band On Channel (IBOC) system became official on Thursday (6/1) when the COFETEL regulation was published in the Diario Oficial de la Nacion – the Federal Register of Mexico.  The official regulation was publicized during a Presidential press conference held at Los Pinos, and included the following statement by President Felipe Calderon: “I want to invite you to invest in your radio stations, and to take advantage of these new conditions that have just been created, to bring to our country the very latest technology that will allow you to offer much better radio to all Mexicans. We have the opportunity to position ourselves as a world leader.” 

“We are delighted that our IBOC System has been recognized by COFETEL as the right technology to upgrade the Mexican radio industry to a digital platform.  HD Radio broadcasting provides tremendous new services to listeners, and presents unique opportunities to broadcasters, their advertisers and the consumer electronics industry.  The global importance of the Mexico economy and this development represents major progress toward a common digital radio standard in North America,” said iBiquity CEO Bob Struble.

The decision by COFETEL to accept HD Radio Technology as a digital standard for Mexico allows for broadcaster’s voluntary use of the iBiquity technology in hybrid mode (analog & digital) by both AM and FM station licensees, as well as the use of iBiquity multicasting technology.  The regulation authorizes nationwide implementation of HD Radio Broadcasting.
The IBOC system was recommended by COFETEL in February 2011. The recommendation then required the approval of COFEMER, the Mexican government’s Commission for Better Regulation. After an open public comment period, COFEMER issued its approval on May 12, 2011.
iBiquity said it is now is working closely with broadcasters, manufacturers and retailers in order to accelerate the roll-out of HD Radio Technology in Mexico.