The Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry issued a license Wednesday allowing a consortium of 38 companies to begin trial broadcasts of digital radio. The Tokyo-based consortium plans to begin broadcasting news and educational programs to around 8.55 million households in areas around Tokyo and Osaka in spring 2003, an official at the consortium said.

According to the consortium, digital radio will provide CD-quality sound as well as various kinds of data, including still images.

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