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DAB Takes Over FM Radio By 2015 : Digital Britain Report

In what could be seen as a part of complete digital switchover of media services, the UK government in its Digital Britain report has put forth plans to cease analogue radio signals for broadcasting programs on national radio stations as well as local services by the end of 2015.

The Digital Britain report announced an ambitious “Digital Radio Upgrade” that would include services on national and local digital audio broadcasting (DAB) multiplexes cease broadcasting programs using analogue signals.

FM spectrum vacated by the switchover will be filled by a new tier of 'ultra local' radio services comprising small commercial and community stations; in addition to this, radio services presently broadcasting on medium wave will also upgrade to DAB, the report added.

The report further notified that the complete switchover will be announced two years in advance, and not until digital listening reaches to 50 percent of total radio listening, the figure Lord Carter believes to be reached by as soon as 2013.

Furthermore, the government also necessitated that DAB must be comparable to existing FM coverage, and the DAB should reach 90 percent of the total population and all prominent roads before the aforesaid upgrade can kick off.

As the in-car absence of digital radio service is hindering the take up of the new technology, the report recommended that car radios to be sold by the end of 2013 must be digital.

Our Comments

As it stands, DAB radios suffer a number of issues including weak reception issues, horrendous battery life and expensive price - compared to FM radios. The cheapest DAB radio we could get our hands on costs £24.99 at Argos while you can grab a cheapo FM radio fro less than a tenner at most supermarkets. DAB has a long way to go before it can realistically take over FM.

Related Links

Radio to go digital by 2015

(Radio Today)

FM radio switched off by 2015


Digital Britain: Analogue radio switch-off set for 2015


2015 aim for digital radio switchover

(Digital Spy)

DAB switchover date set


DIGITAL BRITAIN: Government sets 2015 as digital radio switchover date

(Brand Republic)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.