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Digital One

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Title: Digital One  
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Subject: Absolute Radio 90s, Absolute Radio 00s, Digital radio in the United Kingdom, Jazz FM (UK), Absolute Radio sister stations
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Digital One

Digital One Network
Licensed area United Kingdom
Frequency 11D (222.064 MHz) England, Wales and Northern Ireland
12A (223.936 MHz) Scotland
Air date 15 November 1999
Owner Arqiva

Digital One is a national commercial digital radio multiplex in the United Kingdom, owned by Arqiva. As of March 2010, the multiplex covers more than 90% of the population[1] from a total of 137 transmitters.[2] and from 26 July 2013, Northern Ireland.


  • Stations carried 1
    • Forthcoming services 1.1
  • History 2
  • Former Services 3
  • Birdsong 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6

Stations carried

Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description DAB launch date Analogue availability
Absolute Radio C1C0 112 kbit/s Joint stereo Adult alternative music, carries London output during any programme splits, but with national news and advertising 15 November 1999 1215 kHz
105.8 MHz (London)
Absolute Radio 80s C4C1 64 kbit/s Mono Music from the 1980s 14 May 2010
Absolute Radio 90s C4C0 64 kbit/s Mono LSF[nb 1] Britpop, Indie, and Rock from the 1990s 25 August 2010
BFBS Radio C3C0 80 kbit/s Mono Contemporary music; following a three-month trial service which ended on 31 March 2008, test transmissions began on 17 April 2009 and the station launched as a full-time service at 07:00 on 20 April 2009 20 April 2009
Classic FM C2A1 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Classical music 15 November 1999 99.9–101.9 MHz
LBC C0C2 64 kbit/s Mono A national talk and phone-in station owned by Global Radio and also broadcast on 97.3MHz in London. 11 February 2014[3] 97.3 MHz (London)
Planet Rock C2C0 80 kbit/s Mono A national Classic Rock station owned by Bauer Radio since 2013 and now also broadcast on FM in the West Midlands 15 November 1999 105.2 MHz (West Midlands)
Premier Christian Radio C7C1 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Christian music, was able to launch after a fundraising effort from listeners to meet the £650,000 annual cost to broadcast on Digital One on 21 September 2009.[4] 21 September 2009
Smooth Christmas C6C0 80 kbit/s Mono LSF Christmas music, replaced Smooth Radio UK. This service will be replaced by Smooth Extra from late December 2014. Smooth Radio is now on local multiplexes 15 November 2014
Capital Xtra C3C5 112 kbit/s Joint stereo Urban & Dance Music. Formerly branded as Choice FM; relaunched and renamed to coincide with its national DAB availability 07 October 2013 FM in London only
Kiss UK C0C1 80 kbit/s Mono LSF A London based station specialising in hip hop, R&B, urban and electronic dance music owned by Bauer Radio. Also broadcast on FM in London, South Wales & the Severn Estuary, and East Anglia; all frequencies including D1 now share programme content 27 December 2012 100, 101, 105-108 MHz
Talksport C0C0 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Sport and talk 15 November 1999 1089, 1053 kHz
TeamRock C0C0 80 kbit/s Mono Rock music 1 May 2013
UCB UK C4CA 64kbit/s Mono LSF Christian music 1 December 2009[5][6]
INRIX UK TPEG E1C000BA 16 kbit/s Data Hidden service
Traffic Master E1C000B8 8 kbit/s Data Hidden service
What's On E1C000B1 8 kbit/s Data Hidden service

Forthcoming services

Services due to launch on the multiplex in coming months, where launch plans have been confirmed:

Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description DAB launch date Analogue availability
Smooth Extra TBC* 80 kbit/s Mono Melodic hits from the past five decades. Replaces Smooth Radio UK/Smooth Christmas (2014). 27 December 2014 N/A
Magic TBC TBC TBC Melodic soft adult contemporary hits. Replaces Absolute Radio 90s. January 2015 105.4 FM (London)
  • Smooth Extra is likely to use the Service ID 'C6C0' as previously used by Smooth Radio UK and Smooth Christmas (2014), but this is yet to be confirmed.


On 24 March 1998, the Radio Authority advertised for the first national ensemble to be broadcast on DAB, with the three national commercial services on FM and medium wave required to be included in the ensemble. This included Classic FM, Talk Radio UK (now talkSPORT) and Virgin Radio (now Absolute Radio).[7] The licence was awarded to the sole applicant, GWR Group and NTL Broadcast to form Digital One.[8] The original licence application included the following stations:[9]

Digital One Ltd (original application)
Classic FM Classical music GWR (now part of Global Radio)
Classic Gold Rock Rock music NTL
Club dance Dance music TBA
Plays, books and music Comedy, drama and serials TBA
Rolling news service Rolling news ITN
Soft AC Female contemporary music TBA
Sports channel Live sports and comment Talk Radio UK
Talk Radio (now talkSPORT) Talk radio Talk Radio UK (now owned by UTV Radio)
Teen and chart hits Pop and dance music GWR
Virgin Radio (now Absolute Radio) Complementary rock music SMG plc (station is now owned by TIML)

Digital One was due to launch on 1 October 1999,[10] but this was postponed until 15 November 1999.[11]

The "Classic Gold Rock" service eventually went on air as Planet Rock, which remains on air and is now the longest-established digital-first service on the platform - it was unavailable on FM/AM radio until 2013, when new owner Bauer utilised their 105.2 FM frequency in the West Midlands to provide the service. The "plays, books and music" service went on air as Oneword. The "Teen & Chart Hits" service became Core, and the "Soft AC" service - which was ultimately provided by the then Capital Radio Group (now part of Global Radio) was launched as Capital Life. The "Sports Channel" proposal was dropped as a separate entity and instead combined with Talk Radio in 2000 to form the current talkSPORT as broadcast on MW and digital. ITN's rolling news service ultimately went on air as part of the multiplex, later joined by a business news service provided by Bloomberg. "Club Dance", however, never made it to air. The space released by the absence of the Club Dance and Sports Channel services from the eventual lineup was used to allow the Oneword service to end at midnight rather than the proposed 7pm, and also freed up a slot for a melodic easy listening music service aimed at an older audience, the Saga-operated PrimeTime Radio.

After the closure of PrimeTime Radio in 2006, the original licence was amended to allow the launch of a new classic and contemporary jazz service, theJazz which was launched on 25 December 2006, before 31 December 2006 deadline set in the licence amendment.[12]

On 11 February 2008 GCap announced that it was selling its interest in Digital One to Arqiva and that "non-core" DAB stations Planet Rock and theJazz would be closing by the end of March 2008. Whilst theJazz ceased broadcasting at midnight on 30 April 2008, Planet Rock was sold off and remains on air. GCap also closed down their two other D1-only stations, Core and Capital Life, prior to GCap being taken over later in 2008 by Global Radio.

In April 2009, Global Radio sold its 63% stake in the ensemble - acquired as part of its takeover of GCap, part-owner of D1 - to Arqiva, making the transmission firm the sole owner and operator of the ensemble.[13] Arqiva also owns the NOWdigital suite of local DAB multiplexes, having acquired these from Global (again these were inherited from GCap), and the Ayr local ensemble previously owned by SCORE Digital (sold when Scottish Radio Holdings was taken over by Bauer Radio.)

As of 2014, following Global Radio's purchase of Real & Smooth Ltd, and Bauer Radio's purchase of Planet Rock and Absolute, these firms between them control 9 of the 14 broadcast stations currently transmitting on Digital One - Global holding four, and Bauer five.

Former Services

Services previously carried on the multiplex include:

  • Smooth Radio Christmas - festive music service, ran from 1 November until 27 December 2011[14] and operated again as a pop-up in Nov/Dec of 2012 and 2014 (due to the launch of Capital XTRA there was not space for the service in 2013)
  • Smooth Radio - Easy listening service relaunched in 2010 as national network; local content on local/regional FM frequencies was replaced with network output also broadcast nationally on D1. New owners reintroduced local content on local FM/DAB in March 2014 and withdrew Smooth from D1 in November 2014.
  • NME Radio (ceased on 12 July 2010[15])
  • Panjab Radio (temporary service, ceased on 31 May 2010)
  • Fun Kids (temporary service, ceased on 3 October 2009)
  • Birdsong (ceased on 1 June 2009, replaced by Amazing Radio)
  • theJazz (ceased on 31 March 2008)
  • Capital Life (ceased on 31 March 2008) [16]
  • Core (ceased on 11 January 2008,[16] immediately replaced by BFBS Radio)
  • Oneword (ceased on 11 January 2008[17] because of financial problems, replaced by Birdsong - see the section below)
  • Primetime (ceased on 24 May 2006, replaced by theJazz on 25 December 2006)
  • D1 Temp (ceased on 9 June 2005 - see the section below)
  • Bloomberg (ceased on 6 December 2003, replaced by D1 Temp)
  • ITN (ceased on 1 July 2003)
  • Smooth Radio 70s (ceased on 6 October 2013)

In addition to the audio services listed above a number of data services, short lived temporary audio services, and mobile video channels have been broadcast on this multiplex.


Birdsong was a transmission consisted of a continuously looping recording of bird song. When financial news station Bloomberg, and rolling news station ITN News Radio ceased to broadcast within several months of one another in 2003, replacement audio services were never found due to a commitment in Digital One's broadcasting licence to provide a news station. This resulted in a station playing a 36-minute, 56-second loop of birdsong and ambient sounds, entitled D1 Temp which broadcast until June 2005.

When the magazine-format digital radio station Oneword ceased in January 2008, the birdsong audio once again returned to the multiplex on the Oneword channel and the service name of the DAB channel changed to "Birdsong", until Amazing Radio launched on 1 June 2009.[18]

When Jazz FM left the Digital One multiplex at the end of 2013 and migrated to local availability in London only, Birdsong returned to D1 in January 2014 on a temporary basis until LBC launched in the slot on 11 February.


  1. ^ Low Sampling Frequency, at 24KHz, half of the normal sampling rate for a DAB station of 48KHz, mandated by the European Broadcasting Union to broadcast speech radio at acceptable quality.


  1. ^ "Coverage - Future transmitters". Digital One. Retrieved 13 March 2010. Although already covering more than 90% of the population... 
  2. ^ "Coverage - Current transmitters". Digital One. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "LBC Goes National: Everything You Need To Know". LBC. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  4. ^ Plunkett, John (19 August 2009). "Premier Christian Radio set for national digital launch".  
  5. ^ "UCB goes national on DAB digital radio". United Christian Broadcasters. 
  6. ^ "Two new tenants for Digital One". Radio Today. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "APPENDIX 3.6 - Digital audio broadcasting" (pdf). Competition Commission. Retrieved 17 April 2007. 
  10. ^ "DIGITAL ONE IS Awarded 12 YEAR DIGITAL LICENCE". PR Newswire. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  11. ^ Pearse, Justin (20 October 1999). "Motor Show: Digital One unveils launch line-up". ZDNet UK. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "ANNEX - PART I - Conditions relating to simulcast services and digital sound programme services" (docx). Ofcom. Archived from the original on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2007. 
  13. ^ Plunkett, John (7 April 2009). "Global Radio sells Digital One to Arqiva".  
  14. ^
  15. ^ ukdigitalradio: News - NME Radio Stops Broadcasting on DAB Digital Radio
  16. ^ a b West, Dave (11 January 2008). "GCap closing two digital radio stations".  
  17. ^ Welsh, James (10 January 2008). "Oneword Radio to shut down".  ).
  18. ^ "Amazing - a new DAB station". Radio Today. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
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