BBC boosts coverage of its national DAB services in Central London

The BBC switched on a new DAB transmitter for Central London at the BT Tower yesterday, which will improve reception of its national stations on DAB digital radio, including BBC Radio 4 extra and BBC Radio 6 Music in the built up heart of London.

London's BT Tower, site of a new BBC National DAB transmitter.

Due to the terrain and the buildings in Central London, the existing 10kW transmitter at Crystal Palace in the southern half of London was not sufficient for some indoor and mobile DAB use north of the Thames. The BT Tower DAB transmitter will be operating at an effective radiated power of 800 watts thus acting as a local filler for a relatively small geographical area within London.

However, where both Crystal Palace and BT Tower signals can be received, the DAB single frequency network system means that the services may compliment each other to provide more robust reception in areas prone to reflected signals off high buildings.

Commercial multiplex operator Arqiva already operates its Digital 1 national multiplex from the site. Local DAB multiplex London 2 also has a transmitter at the tower. Reception of the BBC National DAB multiplex was first enhanced in the Greater London region by the launch of a DAB transmitter at network FM site Wrotham in Kent in 2010 and a through a further transmitter at Epping Green in Hertfordshire last year.

The BBC's BT Tower DAB transmitter is only the second new site to go live this year, following the end of a massive DAB rollout programme throughout 2010 and 2011. The BT Tower transmitter was originally to go live as part of that programme in 2011. The improvement of DAB digital radio coverage in London is not linked to next month's digital television switchover.
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