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Digital radio & small stations: Ofcom announces trials of small scale DAB

posted on 24 February, 2015   (public)

Digital radio & small stations: Ofcom announces trials of small scale DAB

On 24 February 2015, Ofcom has confirmed plans for trials of a new technology that could provide small radio stations across the UK with an affordable way to broadcast on DAB digital radio. Known as ‘small scale DAB’, the new approach is best suited for broadcasting to small geographic areas, ideal for community and local radio stations.

Small scale DAB is cheaper than current systems because it is uses software freely available from opendigitalradio.org, rather than relying on often expensive hardware equipment.

Ofcom is planning up to ten trials which will help inform Ofcom’s work on identifying suitable frequencies for broadcasting smaller digital stations and help understand how these services could be licensed.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is funding Ofcom’s work on how small stations could access DAB digital radio.

Ofcom is today inviting applications to take part in the trials, which are expected to run for nine months. The deadline for applications is 7 April 2015.

  • In the UK, 48,9% of adults say they now own a digital DAB radio set
  • 37.9% of all radio listening is digital
  • The first national commercial DAB multiplex, operated by Digital One, now carries 14 digital radio stations
  • a second national commercial DAB multiplex is expected to launch next year.

Ofcom's News Release
Ofcom Statement "Small scale DAB trials"
Application Form

Source: Ofcom Website