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Friday, 7th November 2003
SWDR secures final Band III digital radio multiplex licence for Cornwall & Plymouth

Pirate FM, Plymouth Sound and Classic Gold are to take the step onto the digital radio platform in October 2004, as the round of Band III digital multiplex awards draws to a close.

South West Digital Radio Limited, a company formed from operators UKRD and NOWdigital - the digital radio offshoot of GWR Group - have secured the award to run digital radio multiplexes for Cornwall and Plymouth.


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Two channels on DAB digital radio have been reserved for the new groups of stations, allowing two multiplexes carrying vitually identical services, except that BBC Radio Devon would be carried in the Plymouth area and BBC Radio Cornwall within the county of Cornwall.

Classic Gold will for the first time be heard throughout large areas of Plymouth and Cornwall in digital stereo.

Dance music brand Kiss, modern rock music service The Storm and student network station SBN are also set to launch on both multiplexes.

SBN, transmitting from 7pm until midnight every evening, forms part of an Access channel for the South-West. Details of other content providers to this station have yet to be announced. Two further channels are to be introduced during the twelve-year term of the licence.

South West Digital Radio plan to launch their multiplexes in both Corwall and Plymouth in October 2004, using three transmitters sited at Plympton, Redruth and Caradon Hill, to bring local DAB digital radio to around 70 percent of the people living in and around Plymouth and Cornwall.

It is not yet known whether Pirate FM and Plymouth Sound will provide local programming for the areas they do not already serve.

The new multiplexes will use channels 12A in Plymouth and 11B in Cornwall.

To receive DAB digital radio stations in the UK, you need a DAB digital radio - a new type of radio that can receive digital radio broadcasts. For more information, read our guide to DAB digital radio and find out about the tuners available to buy.

This, the last of 46 digital radio licences awarded since 1998, represents the initial phase of digital radio development. A further set of frequencies on DAB digital radio Band L are due to be made available from around 2007 onwards.

The Radio Authority's Chief Operating Officer, David Vick, said:
"We are extremely pleased to have completed the programme of local digital radio licensing which we embarked upon back in 1998, on schedule and with no loss of momentum. This has been due to the enthusiastic support given by the commercial radio industry, as multiplex operators and digital programme service providers, to this technology, which will transform radio listening in the years ahead. The UK is acknowledged to be the world-leader in the development of Digital Audio Broadcasting, and I am proud of the role which the Authority has been able to play in facilitating this."

Related links:
Plymouth, Cornwall and South-West radio station listings, on this website
earlier story about this licence advertisement, on this website

guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
get discounts on DAB digital radios, via this website.
portable digital radios, available to buy now, via this website.
pocket DAB tuners, on this website.

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