192 kbps now free on West Midlands DAB Multiplex as another service leaves

The West Midlands DAB digital radio multiplex is currently operating with 192 kbps of spare capacity after local DAB only station Sanjhi Awaz left the multiplex. Listeners attempting to tune into the station will get a "no service" message.

The Asian service, described on its website as "a commercial DAB digital radio station catering for all age groups of the Punjabi, Hindi, English and Urdu speaking communities in the West Midlands (UK) and across the world online" was using a 128 kbps slot on the multiplex.

Another 64 kbps was vacated last year when Asian FX closed down. Earlier this week it was reported that Radio XL would shortly appear on the West Midlands multiplex following Ofcom consent and its closure on the Birmingham multiplex.

Despite the extra capacity being available, Kerrang Radio remained in mono at 64kbps, despite being available in FM stereo across much of the region.

The West Midlands regional multiplex, broadcasting on VHF block 12A, previously known as MXR West Midlands transmits from masts at Sutton Coldfield (site of the main TV transmitter), Turners Hill, The Wrekin, Daventry, Ilmington, Bromsgrove, Shilton, Pye Green near Cannock [pictured above] and Coventry's Samuel Vale House, providing a coverage area streching from the Northamptonshire/Warwickshire border across to the deepest Shropshire.

Observers have speculated that Global may add "Gold" on either the West Midlands or Birmingham multiplex shortly, to replace the current simulcast of the AM service which is currently franchised out to Orion Media. That arrangement is coming to an end this weekend when Orion Media will replace current Gold outlets in the West Midlands on FM and DAB with Free Radio 80s, which officially launches next Tuesday, as reported by a516digital.com last week.
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