BBC National DAB

BBC National DAB
Licensed area United Kingdom
Frequency 12B (225.648 MHz)
Air date 27 September 1995[1]
Owner BBC

BBC National DAB is a digital audio broadcasting multiplex in the UK, for a number of radio stations which have UK wide coverage. The multiplex is owned and operated by the BBC and is transmitted from a number of transmitter sites across the country; it only carries BBC radio stations.

Stations carried

The following channels are receivable on any digital-equipped DAB radio in the BBC National DAB coverage area:

Full time services

Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description Analogue availability
BBC Radio 1 C221 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Youth-orientated popular music and speech 97.1, 97.7 - 99.8 MHz
BBC Radio 2 C222 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Adult-oriented pop music 88.0 - 90.2 MHz
BBC Radio 3 C223 160-192 kbit/s Joint stereo Classical Music 90.3 - 92.4 MHz
BBC Radio 4 (FM) C224 80-128 kbit/s Mono / joint stereo News & Speech 92.5 - 94.6 MHz
103.6 - 104.9 MHz
BBC Radio 5 Live C225 64-80 kbit/s Mono Live news and sport 909, 693, 990 kHz
BBC Radio 6 Music C22B 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Classic rock, alternative rock, funk, indie, jazz, hip-hop
BBC Radio 4 Extra C22C 80 kbit/s Mono Comedy, drama and children's programming
BBC Radio 1Xtra C22A 128 kbit/s Joint stereo New black / urban music
BBC Asian Network C236 64 kbit/s Mono South Asian orientated Various MW
BBC World Service C238 64 kbit/s Mono English language version of the BBC World Service On Radio 4 frequencies (01:00-05:20 only)
BBC Guide E1C79E5E 16-32 kbit/s Data Hidden service, EPG data

Part time services

The BBC National DAB multiplex makes extensive use of dynamic ensemble reconfiguration to allow a number of part-time services to broadcast. While these additional services are on air the bit rates of (one or more of) BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, and data services are reduced.

Station Name Description
5 Live Sports Extra Live sport - used to broadcast either Test Match Special or a second sporting event when BBC Radio 5 live is also broadcasting live sport.
Yesterday In Parliament Radio 4 LW opt-out simulcast; Weekdays 08:30-09:00; Saturdays 08:45-09:00.
Daily Service Christian Music and Worship, Radio 4 LW opt-out simulcast; Weekdays 09:45-10:00

"Pop-up" services

In recent years, the BBC has begun experimenting with short-term "Pop-up" digital radio stations, each broadcasting for approximately 4 days at a time, covering music festivals and other special events. BBC Radio 2 Eurovision was the first to launch in 2014, and was joined by BBC Radio 2 Country and BBC Music Jazz in 2015. A fourth pop-up station, BBC Radio 2 50s is due to be launched in April 2016. When these temporary stations are on air, there is normally a reduction in bit rate of their parent station (Radio 2 or Radio 3).

Station Name Description
BBC Radio 2 Eurovision Launched in May 2014 to extend the BBC's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest. Returned in 2015 to provide coverage of the 2015 contest.
BBC Radio 2 Country Launched in March 2015 to provide coverage of London's C2C: Country to Country Country music festival. Returned in 2016 to cover the 2016 festival.
BBC Music Jazz Launched in November 2015 as a joint venture between BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM, with programming celebrating Jazz music in all its varied forms.
BBC Radio 2 50s Will launch in April 2016 as a celebration of the music and entertainment of the 1950s.

Station closures

BBC Asian Network was due to be axed in around 2011 after plans to close down the station were published. The BBC also planned to close 6 Music.[2] Since then both stations have been saved from closure - 6 Music was retained after listening figures increased and a campaign was set up on Facebook which had 180,000 supporters.[3]


The BBC had initially planned to increase their coverage of their DAB multiplex to at least 92% of the population by adding 61 new transmitters to their existing coverage.

With the publication of the Delivering Quality First paper, it was proposed that DAB coverage would be increased to 97% under the BBC DAB Phase 4 programme (the existing 227 transmitters having been delivered through phase 1, 2 and 3 between the late 1990s and 2013). Around 162 new transmitters were planned to be brought into service over a two-year period. The first of these new transmitters, Basingstoke, went into service on 6 December 2013.[4]


  1. "TV: September Through the Years". Unreality Primetime. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  2. "BBC 6 Music and Asian Network face axe in shake up". BBC News. Retrieved 2 March 2010.
  3. "BBC Trust rejects 6 Music closure plan". BBC News. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2010.
  4. "Three new BBC National DAB transmitters on air, 159 to go". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
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