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Wednesday, 30th July 2008
MuxCO outline reasons for slippage in DAB multiplex launches

Local DAB digital radio multiplex operator MuxCo has given the reasons for the delay to launch of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and northeast Wales and west Chester digital radio multiplexes.

The effect of the changes to the planned launch dates means that it is unlikely any local DAB digital radio multiplexes will launch this year.

MuxCo notes in its blog that the two main transmission companies are about to become one company, with NGW (National Grid Wireless) being acquired by Arquiva, leading to potential cost savings due to existing transmission infrastructure being made available for the multiplex, if the takeover is successful.

MuxCo is therefore, for its own and the interests of its shareholders and the BBC, waiting for the outcome of the acquisition before signing transmission contracts.

There are also discussions taking place within the Digital Radio Working Group about potential frequency changes and the launch of the second nationwide commercial digital radio multiplex. The outcome of these talks might affect the frequencies on which MuxCo's licences are planned to broadcast.

Now Digital's plans are likely to follow those of MuxCo, with the added complication that Global Radio is in the process of acquiring Now Digital's owner GCap Media. The launch of the Derbyshire, Herts, Beds & Bucks, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire multiplexes is likely to be delayed until 2009.

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