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RadioScape solidifies China presence with new HK center

Posted: 10 Aug 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RadioScape DAM module? DAB receiver RS220 RS200? RadioScape Development Center?

U.K.-based RadioScape Ltd is opening a new development center in the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, its first development center outside the United Kingdom. The company presently has a sales office in Hong Kong, which is staffed by 26 employees and has been operational for 18 months.

Although RadioScape only started shipping to China last year, it now represents around 90 percent of the mobile TV market in the mainland. "Out of the 14 broadcasts systems here [China], we have supplied 13 DMB systems for major Chinese conurbations that were secured via the Hong Kong center," shared John Hall, chief executive of RadioScape.

Hall added that China is presently their biggest market today. "I think it is important for our customers in Southern China to see that even a small company such as RadioScape believes in the Asian market."

Low turnover in Hong Kong
Asked to comment on why RadioScape decided to invest in Hong Kong, Hall said that it all came down to the advantages the region has to offer. "In Hong Kong, there is a very good access to highly-skilled engineers. Engineers here are very creative, and they are willing to take initiatives in new areas. Our limited experience in mainland China tells us that they are more conservative in terms of development and innovations. There is also a very low turnover in the area as compared to mainland China."

RadioScape's John Hall (right) and Dave Hawkins

However, Hall revealed that RadioScape plans to open additional R&D centers in mainland China within the next 12 months because of its "very important customers in Northern Beijing and Shanghai." He added that they are already working with several local companies on new developments. "Having our engineers close to them will enable us to incorporate their technologies faster," Hall said.

RadioScape's U.K. center focuses on core software technology, while the center in Hong Kong will primarily concentrate on core hardware development, particularly miniaturization of hardware. "The HK team will look at new kinds of market segments such as mobile phones; this is where the region has a lot of expertise in. Meanwhile, the U.K. center will focus on more traditional radio products," explained Hall.

New DAB module
The company has also recently announced its first module in a new generation of lower power and lower cost DAB modules. The RS220 module is designed with RadioScape's recently announced RFIC front-end chip, which is said to dramatically reduce component count and module cost.

RadioScape's new RS220 DAB module
"This front-end chip was designed to enable us to bring out a new generation of digital radio modules, which benefit from having lower power and lower cost than the original ones," Hall said.

The new module is pin-compatible with the existing RS200 family of modules. It supports DAB Band III and FM as standard, and can have L-band DAB for a nominal additional cost. As with all of the company's DAB modules, its features and functions are defined in software. Additional capabilities such as USB Master, WMA, SD/MMC, CD, MP3 and iPod playback are available as options.

"We make it very easy for manufacturers to design digital radio around our products. All they need is the actual radio box, speakers, antenna and display to quickly create a high-quality digital radio," Hall added.

- Margarette Teodosio
Electronic Engineering Times-Asia

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