New DAB transmitters turned on in Wales
The official switch-on of three new DAB digital radio transmitters has taken place in Llanelli this evening, at an event in Llanelli.
The three new transmitters at Preseli, Carmel and Kilvey Hill take digital radio coverage for BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Nation Radio, Nation Hits! and Real Radio Wales, as well as local stations Radio Pembrokeshire and Radio Carmarthenshire from zero to 350,000 potential listeners in the area.
Over 1,000 km of roads will also get DAB coverage for the first time. A fourth transmitter is being built and will launch at Greenhill next year.
The “big switch-on” took place with Cochyn the mascot at Parc y Scarlets, the home ground of Llanelli Scarlets Rugby Club, ahead of their first game of the RaboDirect Pro12 season against defending champions Leinster.
This year Wales has seen DAB switch-ons in Wrexham and the Heads of the South Wales Valleys. Together with this launch, 900,000 listeners in Wales can now get national stations on DAB for the first time.
In 2014, North West Wales will also see digital radio stations launching for the first time, bringing another 350,000 listeners into coverage which brings DAB coverage of the national stations to 78% of the Welsh population.
This switch-on comes as the Government has said they will make a decision on radio switchover at the end of 2013.
Broadcaster Jason Mohammad, who hosts a daily show on BBC Radio Wales and presents Final Score on BBC One, said he was excited about the launch of the new digital transmitters: “It’s great news that so many more homes will be able to receive the BBC national stations for Wales on DAB, and now be able to listen to BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru’s coverage of sport in Wales and the exciting new season of Premier League Football and RaboDirect Pro12 Rugby.”
Martin Mumford, Managing Director of MuxCo Wales, said: “We are committed to extending digital coverage through local transmitters across Wales and this switch-on, which gives 350,000 listeners access to our stations on DAB, is another important step for our industry.”