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International DAB growth

Around the world, DAB sales showed encouraging growth trends in 2005. While the UK continues to lead the charge, other countries are following the pattern established by trade bodies such as the DRDB and WorldDAB, and sales are growing as a result.

In particular, significant sales increases are reported in the following countries:

? The UK saw sales of 483,500 in the 2005 Christmas period, contributing to a cumulative total of 2.716 million sets in homes. 1.449 million DAB devices were sold in the UK in 2005 (Gfk) and an estimated 5.4 million people listen to digital radio on a DAB set. 11.1% of the population live in a DAB household (Rajar Q4, 05), up from 5.3% in December 04.

The DAB market was worth ?135 million in 2005, up from ?86 million in 2004 (Gfk). More people listen to digital radio via a DAB set than via the Internet and DTV combined (RajarQ4, 05).

? Denmark has recorded cumulative sales of 43,000 DAB receivers up to the end of November 2005. This represents an increase of 100,000 over the same period in 2004. Official sales figures for the month of December 2005 are expected to be released by TSN Gallup at the beginning of April 2006. Denmark?s public broadcaster, DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) plans to add another 20 transmitters to the DAB network in 2006/07, bringing coverage up from 70% to 90% of the population.

The commercial sector has recently joined DR and between them they broadcast 17 DAB services, many of which are unique stations not available on analogue. Denmark enjoys strong government support, commitment from both public and commercial broadcasters and a vigorous promotional campaign from a newly formed DAB marketing bureau.

? In Norway, where coverage is set to increase to 80%, and public broadcaster NRK has set an analogue switch-off target of 2014, sales of DAB digital radios also increased significantly. Sales of 51,000 units in 2005 easily beat the industry forecast of just 15,000.

Leading retailer Elkjop told Norway?s DAB trade body, the DRU, that December counted for 50% of its total 2005 DAB sales, adding: ?We have increased the range of DAB radios from four brands to 14 models in 2005, and at present we have more receivers with DAB than unique FM radios. DAB has arrived and is here to stay, and Elkjop is committed and will continue to back DAB in the future.?

? Korea has the potential to be a massive market for DAB and its family of standards.Since December 2005, more than 110,000 DMB enabled receivers have been sold. Mobile operators have ordered another 30,000 from manufacturers. Sales are expected to toptwo million by the end of 2006.

? Singapore is a country of approximately one million households, and by the end of 2005, 1% of them had a DAB digital radio. 2005 saw sales rise to 10,000 units, a jump of 83% in one year. In 2006, broadcasters in Singapore will continue to campaign on behalf of DAB listening with digital roadshows and on-air advertising.

As the impact of DAB is felt on the international consumer electronics market, WorldDAB is in talks with retailer auditors such as GfK and TSN Gallup to monitor sales in various countries around the world.

There are positive signals coming from other countries where DAB has only recently launched
competitively. DAB sales are also growing in Belgium with many more DAB products entering the
market and the major retailers and the majority of independents selling receivers. In the Netherlands, a DMB trial is to be extended and a DAB marketing bureau is being set up by one of the major importers for DAB radios ? Music Matters.

In Switzerland, DAB receivers only arrived in shops in 2005, so there are no sales figures currently available. Coverage is set to rise to 73% of the population by early Spring 2006, and to 90% of the German and Italian speaking population by the end of the year. There are already a total of 30 French and German speaking DAB channels broadcasting. SRG, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, has said it will not invest in expanding the FM network but will focus on growing DAB coverage instead. A new DAB marketing bureau will launch in the Spring 2006 with major marketing campaigns promoting products and services to consumers planned for the Autumn. The market is expected to take off this year.

Manufacturer Samsung Electronics has agreed to supply 500,000 DMB phones to two major Chinese mobile TV operators. Both companies plan to begin commercial DMB broadcasting in Spring 2006. DAB digital radio services are part of the package that comes with DMB broadcasting.

2006 is a big year for sports with the Winter Olympics, the World Cup and the Ryder Cup, among other events, all expected to grow overall radio listening, and DAB will take its share of this
market. In Germany, two major DMB trials are focused on the World Cup with radio and
television services. One is a project called Mi Friends, which has received official status as a
European project with a budget of around 18 million euros over the next two years.

DAB is broadcast in nearly 40 countries around the world either commercially or in trial phase and more than 500 million people worldwide are within range of a DAB transmitter. DAB services recently launched in the Dublin area of Eire; Slovenia will launch a DAB service in the Ljubljana area; and the Malta Communications Authority has received demand exceeding supply for four terrestrial DAB frequencies. There is great potential in 2006 for products incorporating the DAB family of standards, which now includes multimedia applications such as DMB and DAB-IP for mobile TV.

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