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Second UK Nationwide Digital Radio Network Will Go On Air Feb. 29

New digital radio network will be the first national service supporting the newer DAB+ standard

LONDON�Sound Digital, the joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer Media and UTV Media in 2014, on Feb. 8 announced its plan to switch on the UK�s second national DAB digital radio multiplex network Monday, Feb. 29.

The new digital radio network will be the first national service supporting the newer DAB+ standard. DAB+ is more spectrum-efficient than DAB, enabling more radio stations to be broadcast with the same amount of bandwidth. Currently, the majority of DAB digital radios will only receive stations using DAB; however many newer DAB digital radios can receive DAB+ channels.

Ofcom awarded the second national DAB multiplex license to Sound Digital in March 2015. The new multiplex will support the continued digital development of radio, with Sound Digital�s line-up of brands being entirely or predominantly on digital platforms.

The Right Honorable John Whittingdale, MP, will perform theofficial switch-on of the new network in central London March 1. �This event will also see the launch of the national �Big Retune� campaign to encourage listeners to retune their digital radios.� The retune prompts DAB radios to re-scan the dial, thereafter noticing new transmission services. �

The �switch-on� will also pave the way for listeners to access 18 national radio stations, including four previously unannounced. (See the complete line-uphere.)The UK�s only dedicated children�s radio service �Fun Kids�; a brand new sister station to the popular Magic brand �Magic Chilled�; leading Asian broadcaster Panjab Radio; and, contemporary Christian music channel �Premier Praise� all agreed to join the line-up ahead of the launch. Jazz FM, Fun Kids and Magic Chilled will all be delivered using DAB+.