Ofcom approves South Wales DAB extension
Now Digital’s request to extend the coverage area and change the frequency of its local DAB multiplex for Cardiff & Newport has been approved.
The extended coverage area will include the Heads of the South Wales Valleys area and offer services which were previously available on the regional MXR multiplex, which closed yesterday.
Two responses were made to the consultation by Ofcom, both of which were in support of the request.
This move is part of a wider expansion of DAB digital radio coverage across Wales during the next year. New DAB digital transmitters are planned to be switched on over the next year bringing local DAB to an additional 400,000 homes and total local DAB coverage to almost 80%.
At the end of August, new digital transmitters are planned to be launched in South West Wales, adding a further 150,000 households in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.
In 2014 plans are underway for a further 150,000 homes in North West Wales to receive the BBC and commercial national stations for Wales for the first time. The new digital transmitters will also bring hundreds of miles of roads across Wales into local DAB coverage.
Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK, says: “This announcement is great news for radio and great news for Wales. Even more listeners will now be able to enjoy the additional choice of local and national stations on DAB. The investment in DAB coverage will continue beyond this current plan as Wales continues to go digital.”
Paul Eaton, Director of Digital Radio at Arqiva, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring these services to digital radio in Wales and this launch will make a big difference to the digital radio listening experience in the Heads of the South Wales Valleys”.
Steve Austins, Editor of BBC Radio Wales, says: “We’re always looking to improve the way our listeners are able to receive BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru, so I’m delighted that we’re now available on digital radio across Wales.”