Prasar Bharati, India’s public broadcaster, has allowed GeoBroadcast Solutions to test its MaxxCasting and Zonecasting systems on the largest radio network of the world, All India Radio, beginning with its radio stations in Delhi and Bengaluru.
The mobilisation is scheduled to begin mid-April on NBH Delhi (FM Gold 106.4 Mhz 20 KW) and Bengaluru (Rainbow 101.3 Mhz or VBS 102.9). Both the stations reach a combined listenership of 23 million in the world’s largest democracy.
Approval came in on April 5 after a series of meetings and presentations spanning nearly 36 months, GeoBroadcast Solutions said in a press statement yesterday from Chicago.
Responding to the Indian government’s goal to better serve India’s diverse population through the use of new technologies, Prasar Bharati is encouraging India’s broadcasters to more effectively reach minority groups and multi-language speaking residents, the US broadcast tech company said.
The technology will not only reach underserved communities through an improved broadcast signal, but will also provide zoned customized content to various dialect and ethnic groups.
“Team All India Radio recognizes the potential of the proposal of GBS to test this innovative technology. With this the broadcast stations will be able to reach the individual cultural communities in India through a single frequency,” said Sunil Srivastava, Additional Director General from Prasar Bharati.
Srivastava further added, “Prasar Bharati’s radio tower infrastructure will provide the engineers with the necessary foundation to design and implement a network of zones that is expected to reach unique populations through a single broadcast platform.”
GeoBroadcast was introduced to Prasar Bharati through Dev Banad Viswanath, a NY-based attorney with U.S. and Indian ties to the broadcast community.
“Nothing pleases me more than to bring to my native country the latest advances in radio industry,” said Viswanath in a statement.
“ZoneCasting will be an incredibly valuable asset for the National Broadcast community in India and will help diversify the reach of broadcasters’ programming,” he added.
In India, radio is a valued medium with potential for robust revenue growth, providing news and enertainment to the vast population.
“It is an honor to be awarded the opportunity to apply our ZoneCasting technology in India, which will soon be the most populous country in the world,” said Paul Littleton, chief technology officer at Geo Broadcast Solutions.
“It was developed precisely to segment sections of the broadcast signal and reach unique communities and populations. This deployment will help Prasar Bharati continue reaching its listeners while, additionally, customizing the content to such a varied audience,” he added.
The installation should be completed and ready for trial by the end of the summer.
Maxx Casting is a combination of technologies with patented designs that enable FM broadcasters to enhance their signals with the deployment of a strategically located cluster of low to the ground, highly directionalized synchronized booster sites. MaxxCasting allows broadcasters to deliver robust, easy to receive signals that reach a broader portion of their service area and supports the accurate decoding of Nielsen PPM watermark to aid in accurate audience measurement.
A ZoneCasting “zone” is simply a collection of MaxxCasting cell sites broadcasting localized content.