Seven Japanese radio stations have pledged to set up a joint-venture through which they will deliver terrestrial digital radio broadcasts in 2006.

Seven Japanese radio stations have pledged to set up a joint-venture through which they will deliver terrestrial digital radio broadcasts in 2006.

Tokyo FM Broadcasting will hold 25% in the venture, with Nippon Broadcasting System, Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, and TBS Radio and Communications each taking double-digit stakes.

The service - which will initially be capitalized at ¥10 billion ($89.8 million) -- is intended to allow consumers to receive CD-quality broadcasts through dedicated handheld or tabletop receivers, or via personal computers equipped with receiver cards.

The partners will seek additional investment capital from electronics hardware manufacturers, automobile companies, financial trading firms and cellular phone providers.

The group says it will apply for a broadcasting license from the Ministry of Communications early next year.