Regional Tier of UK DAB Digital Radio to end

Ofcom has confirmed that the shareholders behind the MXR regional DAB multiplexes have decided not to renew their licences.

From summer 2013, regional DAB multiplexes serving the North East, the North West, South Wales and the Severn Estuary plus the West Midlands will cease broadcasting.

Yorkshire's multiplex will survive until its licence ends in 2015.

MXR shareholder Global Radio, who have taken over Real & Smooth owner GMG Radio, have said that some of its services will transfer to rival Bauer Media's local DAB multiplexes, of which some have numerous empty slots, such as in Birmingham. There have been concerns in some areas, such as in the North West, that station choice will be significantly reduced.

Global is expected to convert Real Radio into Heart soon, thus reducing the number of stations that need a new home.

Spectrum freed up by the closure of the regional DAB multiplexes is to be reused to expand local DAB multiplex coverage, according to industry bodies, including Arqiva- another MXR shareholder.

WHEN WILL THE MXR REGIONAL DAB MULTIPLEXES CLOSE?
North East England: 29 July 2013
South Wales / Severn Estuary: 29 July 2013
West Midlands: 27 August 2013
North West England: 24 September 2013
Yorkshire: 2015
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