BBC National DAB

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
BBC National DAB
Licensed areaUnited Kingdom
Frequency12B (225.648 MHz)
Air date27 September 1995[1]

BBC National DAB is a digital audio broadcasting multiplex in the UK, for a number of radio stations which have UK wide coverage. The multiplex is owned and operated by the BBC and is transmitted from a number of transmitter sites across the country; it only carries BBC radio stations.

As of the end of 2017, more than 97% of the UK's population are within reach of the multiplex following the completion of the switching on of a fourth set of new transmitters over the previous two years which had seen the reach increase from 93%.[2] Any further expansion of DAB radio is awaiting a decision by Government on any possible digital radio switchover.

Stations carried[edit]

The following channels are receivable on any digital-equipped DAB radio in the BBC National DAB coverage area:

Full time services[edit]

Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description Analogue availability
BBC Radio 1 C221 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Youth-orientated popular music and speech 97.1, 97.7 - 99.8 MHz
BBC Radio 2 C222 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Adult-oriented pop music 88.0 - 90.2 MHz
BBC Radio 3 C223 160-192 kbit/s Joint stereo Classical Music 90.3 - 92.4 MHz
BBC Radio 4 (FM) C224 80-128 kbit/s Mono / joint stereo News & Speech 92.5 - 94.6 MHz
103.6 – 104.9 MHz
BBC Radio 5 Live C225 64-80 kbit/s Mono Live news and sport 909, 693, 990 kHz and selected BBC Regional Stations at night
BBC Radio 6 Music C22B 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Classic rock, alternative rock, funk, indie, jazz, hip-hop
BBC Radio 4 Extra C22C 80 kbit/s Mono Comedy, drama and children's programming
BBC Radio 1Xtra C22A 128 kbit/s Joint stereo New black / urban music
BBC Asian Network C236 64 kbit/s Mono South Asian orientated Various MW
BBC World Service C238 64 kbit/s Mono English-language version of the BBC World Service On Radio 4 frequencies (01:00-05:20 only)
BBC Guide E1C79E5E 16-32 kbit/s Data Hidden service, EPG data

Part time services[edit]

The BBC National DAB multiplex makes use of dynamic ensemble reconfiguration to allow a number of part-time services to broadcast. While these additional services are on air the bit rates of (one or more of) BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, and data services are reduced.

Station Name Description
5 Live Sports Extra Live sport - used to broadcast either Test Match Special or a second sporting event when BBC Radio 5 live is also broadcasting live sport.
Yesterday In Parliament Radio 4 LW opt-out simulcast; Weekdays 08:30-09:00; Saturdays 08:45-09:00.
Daily Service Christian Music and Worship, Radio 4 LW opt-out simulcast; Weekdays 09:45-10:00

"Pop-up" services[edit]

In recent years, the BBC has begun experimenting with short-term "Pop-up" digital radio stations, each broadcasting for approximately 4 days at a time, covering music festivals and other special events. The first to broadcast was BBC Radio 5 Live Olympics Extra in 2012, then BBC Radio 2 Eurovision launched for the first time in 2014, and was joined by BBC Radio 2 Country, BBC Music Jazz in 2015 and BBC Radio 2 50s in April 2016. When these temporary stations are on air, there is normally a reduction in bit rate of their parent station (Radio 1, Radio 2 or Radio 3).

Station Name Description
BBC 5 Live Olympics Extra Available during 2012 Summer Olympics with coverage consisting of sports commentaries.
BBC Radio 2 Eurovision Launched in May 2014 to extend the BBC's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. Returned in 2015 to provide coverage of the 2015 contest.
BBC Radio 2 Country Launched in March 2015 to provide coverage of London's C2C: Country to Country Country music festival. Returned in 2016 to cover the 2016 festival and again in 2017.
BBC Music Jazz Launched in November 2015 as a joint venture between BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM, with programming celebrating Jazz music in all its varied forms.
BBC Radio 2 50s Launched in April 2016 as a celebration of the music and entertainment of the 1950s.
BBC Radio 1 Vintage Available in September 2017 as a celebration of BBC Radio 1's 50th anniversary.
BBC Radio 2 Beatles Launched in September 2019 as a celebration of 50 years of the Beatles album Abbey Road featuring interviews on how the album was created and how it influenced the next generation of music artists.

Station closures[edit]

BBC Asian Network was due to be axed in around 2011 after plans to close down the station were published. The BBC also planned to close 6 Music.[3] Since then both stations have been saved from closure – 6 Music was retained after listening figures increased and a campaign was set up on Facebook which had 180,000 supporters.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TV: September Through the Years". Unreality Primetime. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  2. ^ Arqiva confirms BBC DAB rollout complete
  3. ^ "BBC 6 Music and Asian Network face axe in shake up". BBC News. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  4. ^ "BBC Trust rejects 6 Music closure plan". BBC News. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.