LONDON�The U.K.�s Office of Communications (Ofcom) has awarded the license for the second�national DAB network to Sound Digital, a joint venture of Arquiva, Bauer Media and UTV Media GB, according toTelecompaper.com.�
Sound Digital won out over the other competitor, Listen2Digital, because of its technical plan, the confirmed station line-up, and its inherent ability to cross-promote via analog radio, reportsradiotoday.co.�
Though Listen2Digital�s plan offered coverage over a wider geographical area, Ofcom preferred Sound Digital�s plan because it would provide more reliable and contiguous coverage in its service area. �Sound Digital�s application also committed to wider coverage in Scotland, and that its enhanced plan would further increase coverage, particularly in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Ofcom also reportedly felt that Sound Digital�s financial position is stronger by virtue of its shareholders underwriting the costs and revenues for the duration of the license, whereas Listen2Digital plans were dependent on sufficient carriage fee revenues.
Arquiva will start upgrading its existing transmitter sites in order to reach about 75 percent of households with the new DAB multiplex.� It is required to launch the new network by the middle of 2016.
Ofcom writes than 48.5 percent of U.K. adults now own a DAB radio and that 36.3 percent of all radio listening in the U.K. is on digital radio.�