DAB Updates: October 2015

Events radio station Pop Up Radio has been authorised to pop up in more places on DAB digital radio.

The approval from regular Ofcom covers DAB multiplexes serving Bournemouth, Derbyshire, Exeter & Torbay, North Devon, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and South Hampshire.

The services carried on Pop Up Radio typically appear for a limited number of days or weeks to cover specific events. Previous pop-up services have included Celtic Music Radio for the Celtic Connections celebration and a service from Manx Radio during the Isle of Man's TT Races.

Already, space is reserved for Pop Up Radio services for listeners in the following local digital radio areas: Ayrshire, Berkshire & North Hampshire, Bristol, Cambridge, Cornwall, Coventry, Essex, Kent, Leicester, Norwich, Nottingham, Peterborough, Plymouth, South East Wales, Sussex Coast, Swindon, West Wiltshire and Wolverhampton & Shropshire.

However, Pop Up Radio may be on borrowed time: multiplex operator Arqiva is said to be reviewing the future of the Pop Up Radio slot on local DAB later this year. The slot hasn't been utilised very often in recent years. France-based website www.digitalbitrate.com now shows live DAB multiplex information for the London multiplexes (times on this website are in CET, UK+1 hour).

Escape to Cornwall, a new station featuring the soothing soundscapes of Cornwall is now live across Cornwall on DAB digital radio. Listeners outside of Cornwall can listen online or via mobile apps. More information >>

DAB tracking: France-based website www.digitalbitrate.com now shows live DAB multiplex information for the London multiplexes, where you can see a live listing of stations on each multiplex, plus additional technical information (times on this website are in CET, UK+1 hour).

  • NATIONAL: BBC Music Jazz will be available on digital radio between 12-15/11/2015. It's a collaboration between BBC Radio and Jazz FM along with the EFG London Jazz Festival. More information >>
  • Bournemouth, Derbyshire, Exeter & Torbay, North Devon, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire & Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and South Hampshire: Pop Up Radio will be added to these multiplexes (64kbps)
  • Lincolnshire: listeners can now tune into BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Compass FM and Lincs FM via the new Lincolnshire digital radio multiplex. Listeners should retune their DAB radio to gain the new services. More information >>>
  • North Yorkshire: Vale Radio - new on the N Yorks DAB multiplex from 05/10/2015
  • West Wiltshire: listeners to local stations including BBC Radio Wiltshire will need to retune on 23/10/2015 due to a frequency change. More information >>>

In 10 locations across the UK, Ofcom and the radio industry are trialing a new, low cost way of distributing radio stations via DAB across small broadcast areas:
  • Aldershot: VHF Block 8A
  • Brighton: VHF Block 9A
  • Birmingham: VHF Block 9A (restricted to NE Birmingham)
  • Bristol: VHF Block 9A
  • Cambridge: VHF Block 7D
  • Glasgow: VHF Block 10B: testing/pending launch
  • London: VHF Block 9A: testing/pending launch
  • Manchester: VHF Block 10B 
  • Norwich: VHF Block 9A
  • Portsmouth: VHF Block 7D - New stations: RedTrain Express,  Chris Country, JACK Portsmouth and JACK2 Portsmouth.
Listing of stations available here.

Coverage of local DAB multiplexes is in the process of being expanded in a project that's due to last until mid 2016. Within the next three months, local digital radio reception will be improved in parts of Derbyshire, Kent, Plymouth, South East Wales, Sussex, Swindon and Wiltshire.

A new transmitter in Leicester City Centre has enhanced inner City reception of the Leicester DAB multiplex.

A new transmitter on Bolehill, Derbyshire, overlooking parts of Matlock, Cromford and Wirksworth, has completed the current expansion of local DAB in Derbyshire.

BBC National DAB coverage is due to hit 97% of the UK by the end of the year. Currently coverage stands at 96%.

To find out more about which stations are available via DAB in your area, visit the official coverage checker on Get Digital Radio website. More information about retuning your DAB radio when new stations appear is available here. Listeners are not required to learn any DAB frequencies: when retuning, all available stations will appear in an alphabetical list.

Last updated: 16/10/2015 with details of the Wiltshire retune.

If you have a DAB digital radio update, please get in touch, via the contact link at the foot of the page.  
Stay informed: This page will be updated throughout the month with any further developments. On occasion, changes to DAB services are not made available in advance. Ofcom or commercial station operators may limit information about multiplex changes due to commercial or operational reasons. In some cases, Ofcom doesn't publish official documentation under after the changes have been made and recorded.

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