Sound Digital multiplex

The second national commercial DAB multiplex, Sound Digital launched in the UK in March 2016.

The launch of Sound Digital saw a significant increase in choice of content for consumers.

The launch of Sound Digital saw a significant increase in choice of content for consumers.

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National coverage

Working in collaboration with Bauer and Wireless Group we built and launched the new network for Sound Digital. We continue to operate the multiplex, distribution network and service provider installations.

The Sound Digital transmission network was engineered to cover 77% of UK households from launch, achieving an optimum combination of national coverage and cost-effectiveness for digital radio stations.

Giving consumers more choice

The launch of Sound Digital saw a significant increase in choice of content for consumers. The multiplex offers a strong variety of content from a range of broadcasters.

The following services currently broadcast on the Sound Digital multiplex:

• talkRADIO - Wireless Group - News and current affairs
• talkSPORT 2 - Wireless Group - Live sports and sports talk
• Virgin Radio  Wireless Group - Rock and pop music
• Mellow Magic - Bauer Media - Relaxing and melodic music
• Magic Chilled (DAB+) - Bauer Media - Fresh, laid back hits
• Absolute 80s - Bauer Media - 80s music
• Kisstory - Bauer Media - ‘Old skool’ dance tunes and anthems
• Heat - Bauer Media - Pop music, celebrity gossip and entertainment
• Planet Rock - Bauer Media - Classic rock music
• Sunrise Radio - Sunrise Radio - Asian music and speech programmes
• UCB 2 - United Christian Broadcasters - Christian music
• Premier Christian Radio - Premier Media Group - Christian music and speech
• Premier Praise - Premier Media Group - Popular Christian music and spiritual content
• Panjab Radio - Panjab Radio - Delivering extra choice for British Sikhs and Panjabi speakers
• Fun Kids (DAB+) - Folder Media - National children’s radio station
• Jazz FM (DAB+) - Jazz FM - Jazz, blues and soul
• Union Jack (DAB+) – Jack FM – British music

DAB+ technology

The Sound Digital multiplex is also the first in the UK to use the newer DAB+ technology for some of the services. DAB+ uses less bandwidth than traditional DAB, allowing Sound Digital to carry more stations, expanding listener choice.

Broadcast on Sound Digital

At the end of September 2017, we started a process to allocate some capacity for up to two DAB+ channels on Sound Digital. If you’re interested in joining Magic Chilled, Union JACK, Fun Kids & Jazz FM (which already broadcast nationally using DAB+) then you should register your interest by emailing nationaldigitalradio@arqiva.com. Please include your company’s full name and Companies House Registration Number (or equivalent). We’ll then contact you with a confidentiality agreement and more information. Previously, the capacity was used for Awesome Radio, a music station with particular appeal for British Muslims, which came off air in August 2017. We’re looking for customers who have a strong business plan, a clear market proposition and ideas about how you’ll connect with listeners. 

We are keen to treat everyone who is seeking capacity on DAB digital radio fairly. As part of that, we have described some of the principles and processes we follow in this document

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