DAB: Smooth Xmas service ends: Kiss launches on D1 National

Kiss replaces Smooth XmasSmooth Xmas has left DAB digital radio for another year, paving the way for a new nationwide service on national commercial DAB multiplex Digital One.

A few minutes after midnight, Bauer Media's Kiss FM UK went live across England, Wales and Scotland on the Digital One ("D1 National") DAB multiplex using the capacity that had been vacated by Smooth Xmas, which went off the air before midnight.

That was the second time Smooth Radio has operated a Christmas service on national DAB. At the end of Smooth Xmas's transmissions last year, the capacity on the DAB multiplex was reused for new sister station Smooth 70s. As more spare capacity was available on the national commercial DAB multiplex this year, the station was able to re-launch its Xmas station alongside both Smooth Radio and Smooth 70s.

Next year may well turn out differently: the future of the Smooth Radio brand will be determined by its new owners Global Radio and the Competition Commission, who are expected to give their verdict of the Global takeover in the spring.

Bauer's Kiss radio station is using all of the former Smooth Xmas capacity of 80 kbps, which means it is in mono. The station previously launched in stereo across numerous local DAB multiplexes as part of a process which allowed it to drop regional programming in accordance with Ofcom rules. The station is still present on local multiplexes, meaning that some listeners have a choice of listening: either in stereo or mono.

Digital One states that Kiss is a "test transmission", with a further announcement about the service to be released during the first three months of 2013.

Kiss is also available nationwide on Sky and Freesat via non-Freesat mode, and for around 90% of the population via Freeview.

In other DAB developments, Jazz FM's bitrate on Digital One has been reduced from 80kbps to 64kbps mono.

updated at 00:39; 20:33
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  1. hi anding more radio on freeview

    1. There have no recent announcements about any more radio stations launching on Freeview. However, services sometimes appear on Freeview without any notice or advance publicity.


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