Extra coverage coming for Sound Digital multiplex

A total of 19 new transmitters are ready to be turned on in the coming weeks to bring coverage of the second national digital radio multiplex to a further 4 million people.

The Sound Digital consortium of Bauer, Wireless and Arqiva says the proportion of the population able to receive the multiplex will rise from 77% to 83%.

New transmitters are being turned on in Kent, East Anglia and the South West of England, bringing stations such as Virgin and talkRADIO (in their current guise) to DAB radio sets in those areas for the first time. There’s also extra coverage for parts of South Wales and the north of Scotland.

SDL revealed in May that the coverage of its multiplex would be expanded this year.

The news of their imminent switch-on was announced at the Drive to Digital 2018 conference held at the British Museum in London today, with Arqiva’s strategy director Laurie Patten (pictured) saying the process was ahead of schedule.

Steve Holebrook, Managing Director – Terrestrial Broadcast, Arqiva, said: “The popularity of the Sound Digital Network has grown significantly since its launch two years ago and its always been our target to bring its selection of high-quality stations to more people in the UK.

“The task of connecting as many new listeners to the network in the most efficient way possible has been complex, so it is especially gratifying that we will complete the expansion ahead of schedule. We are delighted to now be bringing the network’s diverse range of content to almost 4 million new listeners.”

Dee Ford, Group Managing Director of Radio (UK Division) at Bauer, said: “Bauer continues to lead the field in digital radio listening because we understand the music passions and interests of our listeners. We are proud to be the home of the UK’s most listened to commercial digital radio station – KISSTORY, broadcasting on the Sound Digital mux. This month, we also welcomed the much-loved Jazz FM into the Bauer Radio family of services also available on Sound Digital. The expansion of Sound Digital coverage will bring Bauer’s great brands into the lives of an even wider audience.”

Scott Taunton, Chief Executive of Wireless said: “It has been a busy few months for Wireless and this announcement is timely and most welcome. We recently announced that Chris Evans is coming home to Virgin Radio, Matthew Wright and Jeremy Kyle have joined the talkRADIO ranks, and talkSPORT is bringing exclusive radio coverage of England’s cricket tours of Sri Lanka and West Indies. There is no shortage of engaging, exclusive and entertaining content across our stations and this announcement ensures we will now reach a larger audience”.

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  1. timrlg says

    Perhaps even enough new bandwidth to have Absolute Radio in stereo on DAB?

  2. neil mclean says

    For Fixed home listening why use DAB when the audio is in better quality online for these stations by plugging your phone into your amplifier and streaming from a nice fibre download speed of 38 meg in my case. JAZZFM 320aac online versus 48aac on dab +

    1. mb23 says

      That’s too much messing about just to listen to the radio. The convenience of just switching on a DAB radio is the reason why it’s by far the most popular digital platform.’

      1. neil mclean says

        Ive seen that comment over on the digital Radio spy forum,for your information it takes me on my set up 45 secs longer to get my desktop up and running and huge list of stations in a list on VLC player with very high audio quality! Why would I want to save 45 secs and end up listening to stations on my dab hi-fi seperates tuner in mono? The comment you say messing about just listening to the radio is simply a lack of know how on your part. I only wish I could be of some assistance to you and others thinking DAB is the bees knees and prove you are missing out.

        1. Joe Smith says

          Bully for you but Mb23 is quite right. People simply want to be able to turn on their radio. One device, one button and that’s it.

          1. neil mclean says

            Well that’s effectively what I do…my radio is in my computer…I turn on one button and its on. <<You Joe Smith are giving out info that is false…To listen to Radio on the internet is not complicated or slow and delivers it in better sound quality.

          2. Tim Locke says

            Hi good thoughts – I use the Absolute app around the home for better quality and fewer ads – but in the car I don’t want to run up my data use.

  3. Philip Johnson says

    No coverage for Scarborough area in North Yorkshire!!!

  4. neil mclean says

    Fir attention of Timrig….You can hear Absolute radio in Hi-fi studio quality with a flac lossless stream..thats never going to be available on dab. Yep music in sound quality as if you are in the Absolute radio studio!!!

  5. Russ says

    Tbh it is less than 45 seconds. In our case it is “Alexa open Hit 45s”. Bingo, tuned in. Alexa is plugged into the hifi at home.

  6. Neil says

    My comment was something like “Using a smart speaker to tune into online stations is just as easy as a dab set and in better quality. We have Alexa connected to Hi Fi “. A friend of mine in the industry tried posting these comments on here but were prevented from doing so. It’s pretty obvious this website has an agenda to big up Mediocrity in Dab. My goal here was to advise that the industry is working on controlling people’s mindset a d I’m very much spot on with this analysis.

  7. mb23 says

    One of the main problems with internet radio is the delay on live sports commentaries. You can hear the people next door cheering a goal, a try or a wicket well before hearing the commentary on an internet radio (and that does spoil the enjoyment).

    1. neil mclean says

      I can see what you mean here regarding sports but if you go on BBc sport page this is soon to be addressed. I attend all of QPR home matches so this does not effect me. However regards music it is sheer madness to use DAb for fixed home listening when the bitrates are so superior online making radio listening terrific through a hi-fi set.

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