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Suffolk DAB launch lineup - how to get the stations
Wednesday, 14th September 2016 (corrected 15th Sept)
Launch of local digital stations for Suffolk imminent
Heart, Smooth and BBC Radio Suffolk part of line-up

Local digital radio will officially launch in the county of Suffolk on 30th September 2016, it has been announced (but another blog post suggests tests are starting at this time. Ed.) BBC Radio Suffolk, Heart, Smooth Radio, country music station Chris Country and children's station Fun Kids will all be available on DAB in the area from 30th September 2016. Fun Kids already broadcasts across large parts of the UK, having launched nationally in March using the DAB+ standard, receiveable on digital radios sporting a 'digital tick' or the DAB+ logo. The six stations penned to launch in Suffolk will all use the regular DAB standard and will broadcast on channel 10C.

Suffolk First will also join the digital radio bundle, providing news, sport, entertainment and celebrity news during weekday mornings, with a musical emphasis on country music tracks.

Chris Country will launch instead of the planned station Anglia, a service which formed part of the original application by the operator Muxco to operate the digital radio multiplex. Anglia was to have played nonstop rock and pop music. The proposed replacement launch station, Chris Country, focuses on American country music.

Contemporary hit music station Heart (currently on FM only), laid-back melodic hits station Smooth Radio (broadcast on mediumwave only at present) and the BBC's own local BBC Radio Suffolk (on FM across the county) will also be launching as part of the bundle.

87 percent of Suffolk's roads and 56 percent of adult listeners will be able to receive the stations, thanks to a small network of transmitters at Mendlesham (covering most of central Suffolk), Puttocks Hill (Bury St Edmunds and surrounds) and Warren Heath (Ipswich and locales).

Another transmitter for Felixstowe and surrounding areas will be powered up in October, which will further increase the coverage for listeners with a DAB digital car radio using Suffolk's roads and in homes in and around Felixstowe.

You can view a map of the predicted coverage area for the Suffolk digital radio services here.

It's likely the digital radio services will be testing for at least a few days before the 30th, so stations testing on the multiplex might fall silent while technical adjustments are made between the stations and the transmitters. There will be an official launch for the big switch-on of the full round-the-clock services on Friday, 30th September.

You'll need to retune your DAB digital radio from 30th September 2016 onwards, to find the stations on DAB digital radio in Suffolk. These will be carried on channel 10C. Re-tuning can usually be done by holding down the 'autotune' or 'scan' button on your radio for a minimum of 3 seconds, but we've comprehensive advice on our FAQs page. Older DAB radios may require you to perform a 'full scan' or 'rest-of-the-world' scan to make sure channel 10C is picked up in the search; Suffolk DAB stations will be broadcast further down the waveband, on a frequency not originally planned to broadcast digital radio.

The adjacent county of Essex saw their local DAB multiplex launch back in Summer 2002, whilst Spring 2003 welcomed Norfolk's DAB radio stations. The Suffolk multiplex is the final of the digital radio ensembles to be launched by Muxco as part of the current round of local digital radio awards. The Suffolk multiplex was advertised in March 2015, with Muxco the sole applicant for the licence. Muxco was awarded the licence in August 2015 and have made adjustments to the station line-up for the official launch of the multiplex.

To receive DAB digital radio services, you need a type of radio designed to pick up digital broadcasts over the airwaves through its built-in aerial. We've links to good models on our pages, or scroll down the page for some quick links to both DAB and wi-fi receivers.



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Related links:
Suffolk, Norfolk & East Anglian radio stations, on this website.
Essex, Southend & Chelmsford radio stations

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