Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MSway receiver exclusive!

[UPDATE: 20120217]

I have received news from Marticia that due to various business realities, MSway has halted all DRM development and will no longer be pursuing the market. MSway has a very strong business in other technologies and will continue with them. I for one am very sorry to hear this and wish Marticia and MSway all the best in their future ventures. Marticia has been a marvelous friend to me and to DRMNA. It is rare when a PR person comes across not only as a great advocate for a product and a company, but also as a genuinely nice and caring person. I have nothing but praise for her and hope MSway continues to use her skills and abilities as it focuses on other markets.

Here is our
interview with Ms. Marticia Jo, PR manager of MSway:

UPDATE 20110902: From a question regarding frequency coverage of the new receivers that I posed to Marticia after I published her blog post...

"I checked our website and the information on the device should be revised. The band we support for DRM is for all LW/MW/SW. In Europe the LW is in service for trial but there is no LW in India at the moment. Our product is aiming at Indian market for the immediate launch, we put the frequency range for India. Technically it is no problem to cover the frequency the reader mentioned but commercially it is not really necessary at the moment. That is the reason we only mentioned MW/SW."

Q. How long has the MSway DRM receiver been under development?

A. Actually we have started DRM business from 2011. We already made products for T-DMB and DAB and we have been probing DRM market for many years doing government funded projects.

Q. Do you have any development / R&D partners?

We have worked with the lab of Hansin University for years in digital radios.

There is a government funded research institute called KETI (Korean Electronic Technology Institute) and this institute has invested a lot of time and effort for digital broadcasting for several years. They have developed various technologies for almost all global standards and transfer their developed technology to commercial sectors. That’s why this institute is funded and audited by government.

MSway licensed KETI’s digital radio technology and decided to produce commercial products. Even though we do not have a long history in DRM, the technology and experience from KETI have planted into MSway for DRM and we are confident to deliver commercial products.

Q. What makes the MSway receiver unique?

A. First of all we will make the device affordable. Currently the commercialized DRM radios made by a few companies are too expensive. we will focus on good reception & audio quality with core functions. At the moment we do not have plan to make the device heavy (i.e. equipped with multimedia functions). We will release the basic types of products but we can make customized models upon customers’ requests.

We have developed both receivers and monitoring systems (analyzer) and it will enhance the quality of receivers.

Especially the USB type can be extended to HAM communication with antenna change.

Q. What is the main market for the receiver? Will it be available in the USA/North America?

A. Currently we are informed that India officially will launch DRM. Therefore the immediate demand in India is quite promising. Also Brazil and Russia is reviewing DRM for the official launch and DRM consortium people are promoting DRM in those countries. We naturally should aim the markets that have plans to start DRM broadcasting officially like India, Brazil and Russia.

There is a lot of interest from Europe and Australia and we will go to the markets with high interests.

North America? Why not? If there is demand, we will look into the possibilities to launch our products. However we need to study the market very carefully.

Q. Do you have any projected production run and time-frame for the first model/models?

We are getting some actual requests from broadcasters and local distributors in different countries. Throughout IBC show in September we will meet more potential customers for commercial productions.

We have decided to emphasize on the DRM reception with good audio quality to go into the market quickly. Other multimedia functions and other data service function can be added by customers’ requests later on. Our ultimate goal at the moment is “spread affordable DRM radios as soon and as many as possible”. We will offer both module type and final product type and the customers can decide their release time and date.

If we can meet some actual buyer during the IBC show, we have a time-line to deliver the products within 15 weeks.

We also have a monitoring system for broadcasters and other professionals. KETI have completed field tests in India this year and all the participants and local broadcasters were impressed by the reception and functions.

It is the only monitoring solution supporting both DRM30 and DRM+ at the same time.

We have revised commercialized DAB tuner into DRM tuner and it gave us an exceptional reception result compare to other competitors’ products. With KETI’s experience in DAB & DAB+ we will create the version with DAB, DAB+ test as well.

I also have something new to share with you. In Korea we started a new government funded project called “WWR (World Wide Radio)”. I was also involved in this project when it was proposed last year.

A group of professionals in various sections (I was representing Marketing part) teamed up and wrote a proposal to “Ministry of Information and Economics” in Korea and the government body evaluated submitted proposals and selected some projects to support funds.

This “WWR project” is targeting to produce the chipset which can supports all different global digital radio standards.

The result of project will be producing a chipset that able to receiver DAB, DAB+, DRM, DRM+ and more at the same time within 2 years.

I hope we, MSway, can get benefit out of this project soon.

Q. Could you please give us some background about yourself and MSway?

I studied sociology in a university in Korea and Hotel management in the Lausanne Hotel School, Switzerland, worked in Sweden and England as an hotelier. I have worked in service industry dealing with overseas businesses for 10 years.

Surprisingly I could have started my second career in IT industry as a global marketer. I have been involved in data broadcasting software solutions for digital radio and mobile TV. Starting with DAB, I have promoted solutions in different territories of the world for DVB-T/H, ATSC-MH, T/S-DMB and HD radio. Also I have been involved in some government projects in Korea & Singapore for digital radio. Now I am promoting DRM and I am very proud of being a professional in Digital radio industry.

MSway has been strong in Embedded solution of multimedia chip modules. Our CEO, Mr. M.S. Lee, started MCU application module business for Automotive, medical and Industrial products. Since then we have expanded our business area to PAN(Personal Area Network) and portable multimedia devices.

We have produced PND, PMP with mobile TV and radio functions. Based on our technology & experiences we are planning to create more services & products for Broadcasting-telecommunication convergence.

Thank you so much Ms. Jo for this DRMNA exclusive interview. Please extend our thanks to the whole MSway team. DRM enthusiasts in North America (as well as those worldwide) are awaiting the arrival of MSway receivers!

Here is a nice PDF overview of MSway's DRM products and strategy. Enjoy!