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Tuesday, 13th July 2010
BBC expands DAB digital radio transmitter network

The BBC is building out its network of DAB digital radio transmitters, to expand coverage of its national digital radio stations to 92 percent of the population and more than 93 percent of the motorway network. In total, more than 60 new transmitters are planned.

The plans include:

  • four new transmitters to achieve FM-equivalent coverage level of around 99% population and road coverage within the M25 (from around 89% today)

  • fifteen new transmitters for Scotland - including improvements in coverage for Glasgow and Dundee. New transmitters will bring coverage to both Shetland and the Western Isles for the first time

  • ten new transmitters for Wales, extending coverage through mid-Wales to Llandrindod Wells, across north Wales in Colwyn Bay and improving coverage in the South-West Wales areas in and around the towns of Pembroke and Carmarthen

  • seven new transmitters for Northern Ireland, bringing digital radio to both Enniskillen and the North Antrim coast, as well as improving coverage in Belfast

  • three new transmitters for Greater London and the Home Counties, boosting reception across the capital and providing coverage to the Kent weald, as well as providing coverage to High Wycombe, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City

  • nine new transmitters for the South-West of England, including extensions of digital radio to Newquay and Bodmin, Tiverton and Teignmouth

  • two new transmitters for Derbyshire, including one for Derby itself

  • further new transmitters for Saffron Walden, Shaftesbury, Stroud and Sunderland

Following the news that BBC and commercial FM radio stations are unlikely to have migrated to digital by the planned date of 2015, and the slowing uptake of DAB radio receivers, the transmitters form part of the BBC's response to the government's digital radio action plan.

The above areas will be able to pick up national digital radio stations from the BBC. Saved indie, soul and funk music station BBC 6 music and sports commentary station 5 Live Sports Extra are both included in the bouquet of national services available from the BBC.

Our radio news pages will keep you up-to-date with details of the transmitter switch-ons.

Listeners with a DAB digital radio in and around the above areas will be able to receive the BBC's national services by performing an "Autotune" or "Autoscan" with their DAB-enabled tuner or radio, when the transmitters are switched on. The national BBC services currently available are as follows:

BBC Digital Radio Logo

  • BBC Asian Network (mono - due to close by the end of 2011)

  • BBC Radio 1

  • BBC 1Xtra

  • BBC Radio 2

  • BBC Radio 3

  • BBC Radio 4

  • BBC Radio 5 Live (mono)

  • BBC 5 Live Sports Extra (mono)

  • BBC 6 Music

  • BBC Radio 7 (mono)

  • BBC World Service (mono)

BBC Asian Network is set to close on national DAB digital radio. There are plans to rename BBC Radio 7 to BBC Radio 4 Extra. Details when they happen will be announced on our radio news pages.

To receive DAB digital radio stations in the UK, you need a DAB digital radio - a type of radio that can receive digital radio broadcasts. For more information, discover more about radios available to buy.

DAB digital radio logo

Related links:
find radio stations, on this website.
national BBC DAB radio stations, on this website.
national commercial radio stations, on this website.
guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
DAB digital radio portables and receivers
cheaper DAB portables/receivers
Alarm clock DAB radios
Handheld/personal/pocket DAB radios
DAB digital radio systems - hifi and tuners
DAB digital radio FAQs

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