Difficult decision for Ofcom

The awarding of the digital radio multiplex for Northamptonshire was a "particularly difficult decision" for Ofcom's Radio Licensing Committee. However, GCap won the DAB spot because of a realistic launch schedule and "very satisfactory" coverage proposals.

The RLC considered the business plans put forward by GCap's NOWdigital and rival bid from MuxCo to be both robust and credible. The RLC considered in particular that NOWdigital's experience as a multiplex operator, including its operation of the neighbouring local radio multiplex services in each of Peterborough, Leicester and Coventry, enhanced its ability to establish and maintain its proposed service.

Both bids offered similar radio services including simulcasts of current output from Northands 96 and Gold. One of the different services Ofcom noted was the extension of Sabras Radio, providing an Asian service for the first time on digital in the area.

NOWdigital Limited intends to launch its service by September 2008.

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