UK National DAB Muxes

dabDAB radio stations in the United Kingdom are broadcast on a number of frequency blocks on VHF Band III. The original plan devised in Wiesbaden for the framework of DAB in Europe was to allocate frequency blocks 11B to 12D for UK DAB broadcasting. However, as part of its Review of Radio, Ofcom has expanded the frequency allocations for DAB and has advertised local and a national ensemble licence on blocks outside the original Wiesbaden plan on 10B to 10D and 11A. Block 5A has also been reserved for the launch of local ensembles.

For more information see: Digital Radio Independent and BBC (PDF)
For more information on DAB see: DAB Ensembles Worldwide

Bitrates & Sound Quality

MagicThere is much criticism of the poor flat quality of DAB services in the UK, this is due to a policy of ‘quantity over quality’, even on BBC DAB. This along with the continued use of the outdated DAB technology, results in a service that has a far inferior sound quality to FM radio. DAB is far less efficient than the newer DAB+ technology.

Joint Stereo – Audio mode in which two channels forming a stereo pair (left and right) are encoded within one bitstream and for which stereophonic irrelevance or redundancy is exploited for further bit reduction.
BBC Radio 4 on DABMono LSF (Low Sampling Frequency) – Low bitrate encoding with halved sampling rate.
HE-AAC (High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding) – More efficient high-quality multichannel and stereo audio codec used with DAB+.

Audio codec: MPEG 1 Layer II
Better than FM quality requires 192-256 kbps
Similar to FM quality requires 160-192 kbps
Acceptable, worse than FM 128-160 kbps
(Based on stereo services)

Audio codec: HE-AAC v2
Better than FM quality requires 56-96 kbps
Similar to FM quality requires 40-64 kbps
Acceptable, worse than FM 24-48 kbps
(Based on stereo services)

Last updated: March 5, 2019

BBC National DAB

BBC Radio 2 on DABBBC National DAB is a Digital audio broadcasting multiplex owned and operated by the BBC and is transmitted from a number of transmitter sites across the country; it only carries BBC radio stations.

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, and data services are reduced.

BBC Data Services

Digital radio text is the scrolling information that is broadcast along with the audio content on DAB. This can be dynamic programme information, an email address or phone number for a particular show, news headlines and sports results – and on some music networks ‘now playing’ track information. Some of the latest DAB products can pick up a broadcast EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) which provides free, useful information programme information for up to 7 days in advance prior to broadcast, allowing users to record a particular show automatically – or even an entire series of programmes.


BBC National DAB
Service ID
BBC Radio 1
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
Youth orientated Popular music and speech.
BBC Radio 2
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
Adult-oriented Pop Music
BBC Radio 3
160-192 kbps
Joint Stereo
Classical Music
BBC Radio 4 (FM)
80-128 kbps
Joint Stereo
News & Speech
BBC Radio 5 Live
64-80 kbps
Live news and sport
BBC 6 Music
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
Classic rock Alternative rock Funk Indie Jazz Hip Hop
BBC Radio 4 Extra
80 kbps
Comedy, Drama, and Children’s programming
BBC 1Xtra
128 kbps
Joint Stereo
New Black / urban music
BBC Asian Network
64 kbps
South Asian orientated
BBC World Service
64 kbps
English language version of the BBC World Service
BBC Guide
16-32 kbps
Hidden service, EPG data
Multiplex Label: BBC National DAB
Operator: BBC
Transmission Standard: DAB
Block 12B: 225.648 MHz
Allotment: G__90001 UK BBC
Transmitter Sites: BBC DAB Transmitters (PDF)
Service Info: Digital Radio
On-Air: September 1995
BBC National DAB – CU Allocation BBC National DAB – FIC Datarate
BBC National DAB CU Allocation BBC National DAB FIC Datarate
BBC Radio 1 on DAB BBC National DAB – Ensemble
BBC Radio 1 MISC BBC DAB Ensemble



Digital One

Digital One

Digital One launched in November 1999, and has held the only digital radio licence for national commercial radio in the UK ever since. It broadcasts a broad range of content including traffic data services and some of the UK’s most profitable radio stations.

The company is wholly owned by Arqiva, one of the UK’s biggest communications infrastructure companies which operate across broadcast, satellite and mobile communications markets. Digital One’s head office is in central London alongside other Arqiva businesses.

Digital One is committed to the long-term promotion of digital radio in the UK and beyond. Together with the BBC and the big commercial radio groups, it is active in organisations including Digital Radio UK and WorldDMB (an international partnership of broadcasters, manufacturers and regulators).


Digital One
Service Service ID Bitrate Audio Description
Absolute Radio
80 kbps
Adult contemporary music, carries London output during programme splits, but with national news.
Capital UK
80 kbps
Pop Music.
Capital Xtra
112 kbps Joint stereo Urban & Dance Music.
Classic FM
128 kbps
Joint stereo
Classical music.
Heart extra
CFS1 80 kbps Mono Rhythmic AC & Hot AC.
Heart 80s
C1DC 80 kbps Mono 80s Music.
KISS C5C0 80 kbps Mono A London based station specialising in hip hop, R&B, urban and electronic dance music owned by Bauer Radio.
KISSTORY CFE6 80 kbps Mono Pop music.
64 kbps
News & Talk.
80 kbps
Melodic soft adult contemporary hits.
Radio X
C4CD 80 kbps Mono
Rock Music.
Smooth Extra
80 kbps
Easy Listening.
64 kbps
Mono LSF
Sport & Talk.
64 kbps
Mono LSF
Christian music.
16 kbps
Hidden service.
Multiplex Label: Digital1 Network
Operator: Digital One
Transmission Standard: DAB
England, Wales & N. Ireland: Block 11D: 222.064MHz
Allotment: G__60001 England I
Allotment: G__60002 Wales I
Scotland: Block 12A: 223.936MHz
Allotment: G__60011 Scotland I
Transmitter Sites: Digital One Transmitters
On-Air: April 1999
D1 National – CU Allocation D1 National – FIC Datarate
D1 CU Allocation D1 FIC Datarate
D1 National – FIG Statistics D1 National – Ensemble
D1 FIG Statistics


Sound Digital

Sound DigitalSound Digital, the joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer Media and UTV Media. The UK’s second national commercial DAB digital radio multiplex network will launch on Monday 29th February 2016. Three of them will be broadcasting in DAB+ – Fun Kids, Jazz FM and a new service called Magic Chilled from Bauer.
There is no information on the bitrates that will be used by the various stations at present.

Tuning to Block 11A
The frequency allocated to the second national commercial multiplex lies outside the range of the seven blocks used during the initial UK DAB roll-out. Some older radios may not include Block 11A in their automatic scans. In this case, select the option “Full Scan” in the receiver’s menus. This may also be called a “Rest of the World” scan, as opposed to a “UK” scan.


SDL National
Service Service ID Bitrate Audio Description
Absolute 80s C8D8 80 kbps Mono 80s music. (Bauer Media)
Absolute 90s CAC2 80 kbps Mono 90s music. (Bauer Media)
ForcesRadio BFBS (DAB+) C5E0  64 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Pop  Music
Fun Kids (DAB+) C5D8 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 National children’s radio station. (Folder Media)
Heat radio CFD8 80 kbps Mono Pop music, celebrity gossip and entertainment. (Bauer Media)
JACK Radio (UK) CAE0 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Pop music.
Jazz FM Stereo (DAB+) CAD7 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Jazz Music. (Jazz FM)
Mellow Magic C5D8 80 kbps Mono Relaxing and melodic music. (Bauer Media)
Panjab Radio CED8 56 kbps Mono LSF Delivering extra choice for British Sikhs and Panjabi speakers. (Panjab Radio)
Planet Rock C7D8 80 kbps Mono Classic rock music. (Bauer Media)
Premier Christian Radio CCD8 64 kbps Mono LSF Christian music and speech. (Premier Media Group)
Premier Praise! CDD8 64 kbps Mono LSF Christian music and speech. (Premier Media Group)
Scala Radio CDE6 112 kbps Joint Stereo Classical Music.
Sunrise Radio UK C9D8 64 kbps Mono LSF Asian music and speech programmes. (Sunrise Radio)
talkRADIO C0D8 64 kbps Mono LSF News and current affairs.
talkSPORT2 C1D8 64 kbps Mono LSF Live sports and sports talk. (UTV Media)
UCB2 C8D8 64 kbps Mono LSF Christian Music. (United Christian Broadcasters)
Union Jack (DAB+) C7FF 24 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 British Music
Virgin Anthems (DAB+) C7E6 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Pop music.
Virgin Chilled (DAB+) C8E6 32 kbps Stereo HE-AAC v2 Pop music.
Virgin Radio C3D8 80 kbps Mono Rock and pop music. (UTV Media)
Multiplex Label: SDL National
Operator: Sound Digital (Arqiva/Bauer/UTV)
Transmission Standard: DAB & DAB+
Block 11A: 216.928 MHz
Allotment: G__60004 England II
Allotment: G__60032 Isle of Man II
Allotment: G__60022 Northern Ireland II
Allotment: G__60012 Scotland II
Allotment: G__60005 Wales II
Transmitter Sites: 45 transmitters across the UK, providing coverage for 73% – 75% of UK households and 63% – 65% of major UK roads.
On-Air: February 29, 2016
SDL National – CU Allocation SDL National – FIC Datarate
Sound Digital CU Allocation SDL National FIC Datarate
SDL National – FIG Statistics SDL National – Ensemble
SDL National FIG Statistics SDL National Multiplex Configuration
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