Ofcom awards 10 local DAB multiplex trials
Following the news that 51 companies applied for just 10 multiplex trails, Ofcom has today announced the lucky winners.
Manchester is one of the areas getting one of the nine month-long trails, operated by Niocast, and includes Gaydio, a 24 hour channel from Steve Penk, Chris Country going terrestrial for the first time and a new station; Manchester Business Radio.
Niocast Digital’s Director of Operations, David Duffy told RadioToday: “Digital is the future of radio in the UK. Although many stations can already be found on DAB here in Manchester, we still fall a long way short of London in terms of listener choice. We’re pleased that Ofcom has recognised this and we look forward to launching six new digital stations to complement the existing range of formats”.
In Glasgow, a local mux has been awarded to Scrimshaws ID which will broadcast “four or five” services including Celtic Music Radio, Pulse FM and a new station called GO Radio.
Spencer Pryor, MD of Scrimshaws told Radio Today: “OFCOM are obviously satisfied with our technical proposals, which although ambitious are achievable through running a two transmitter SFN network. It will be an interesting trial and we are looking forward to participating in it. We plan to launch all of the services on the MUX on September 1st.”
UKRD has also won a multiplex for Cambridge. This means Star Radio will be going digital for the first time, along with a number of local community stations.
Gaydio and Chris Country are also part of the line-up.
UKRD’s CEO William Rogers said: “I’m really pleased to see UKRD involved in this project and our group engineering and IT team, alongside the station team at Star Cambridge, have worked incredibly hard to deliver an application that Ofcom has now approved.
We’ll be getting on with this straight away and it’ll be very interesting to see how well this whole initiative proceeds.”
Star Radio’s Programme Director Simon Nicks is very happy with the announcement, and adds: “This is a great step forward in bringing the DAB platform to local stations like ours, it also opens up Digital Radio to others such as community stations, expanding choice, which is a healthy thing.
“It’s been a lot of hard work for the team, and we look forward to getting it on the air as soon as possible…the only problem for me now is. I’m going to have to get a new Top of Hour made!”
In Brighton, where the original small-scale DAB test took place, Brighton and Hove Radio has a licence to broadcast Juice 107.2, Radio Reverb, Smile Sussex, totallyradio, Resonance and Brighton City Student Radio.
Brighton & Hove Radio’s Chairman, Daniel Nathan says, “It’s very exciting that the technology we developed and tested here in Brighton in 2012 is set to become a cost effective option for radio broadcasters across the board. Most significantly, it has the potential to open radio to new ideas and be a truer reflection of the UK’s diverse communities in 2015.”
In Hampshire, Havant based Angel Radio, will put six new digital radio stations broadcast to the City of Portsmouth including Express FM and Angel Radio.
David Harber, Commercial Manager of Express FM, said: “With nearly half of adults nationally having access to a DAB digital radio, being on DAB digital radio in addition to FM, will enable our unique local programming to be heard in Portsmouth on as many radios as possible.”
Tony Smith, Station Manager of Angel Radio, said: “Angel Radio has worked hard with its partners to provide a range of stations that complement those already available in Portsmouth. We are pleased that Ofcom has acknowledged we have a sensible proposal by granting us just one of ten available trial licences for small scale DAB digital radio services in the country.”
The full list of successful applicants are:
Angel Radio, bringing Angel Xtra, Express FM, JAMM Radio, Mango Vibe, The Flash and Triple Hits to Portsmouth.
BFBS Aldershot, bringing BFBS Aldershot, BFBS Radio, BFBS Gurkha, Radio Frimley Park, Radio Woking and The Breeze to Aldershot.
Brighton & Hove Radio, bringing Juice 107.2, Radio Reverb, Smile Sussex, Totallyradio, Resonance and Brighton City Student Radio to Brighton & Hove.
Celador Radio, bringing Hub Radio, BFBS Gurkha, Ujima Radio, BSR 103.4fm, BCfm 93.2, Somer Valley Radio, The Breeze and BFBS Radio to Bristol.
Future Digital Norfolk, bringing Future Radio, Norwich 99.9, The Music Machine, Solar Radio, Jazz FM, Totallyradio and Future Plus to Norfolk.
Niocast Digital, bringing Panjab Radio, Revolution 96.2, Manchester Business Radio, The Steve Penk Wind-Up Channel, Chris Country and Gaydio to Manchester.
Switch Radio, bringing Switch Radio, Scratch Radio, Gaydio, Oak FM and Touch FM to Birmingham.
Scrimshaws Information Directories, bringing Your Radio, Celtic Music Radio, Pulse FM and Go Radio to Glasgow.
U.DAB, bringing Resonance, London Greek Radio, Rinse FM, NuSound Radio, Reprezent, Solar Radio and Crackers Radio to London.
UKRD, bringing Star Radio, Gaydio, Chris Country, Core Radio and Cambridge 105 to Cambridge.
We’ll be updating this story with more comments and quotes during the day so check back soon.