Ofcom awards 17 SSDAB multiplex licences

Listeners from Warrington to Wrexham will soon be able to tune into a wider choice of ultra-local digital radio stations, with Ofcom awarding 17 small-scale DAB radio multiplex licences in North West England and North East Wales.[1]

Small-scale DAB is an innovative technology which provides a low-cost route to air for local commercial and community radio services. Each multiplex will allow several local stations to take to the digital airwaves, including grass-roots community services, specialist music stations, and services aimed at minority groups and other under-served audiences.

Ofcom’s roll-out of small-scale DAB will enable the launch of around 200 multiplexes, covering all four UK nations. The award today brings the total number of multiplex licences awarded to 42.

Future licensing plans and review of small-scale DAB roll-out

Ofcom has also published details of the 32 applications submitted for the third round of licence advertisements. These cover 20[2] areas across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Ofcom has also decided to add Ludlow, Cleobury Mortimer & Tenbury Wells to the list of Round Four licence areas, published earlier this year. These licences will be advertised in the autumn, along with the list of areas planned to be advertised in Round Five.

A progress report on the small-scale DAB roll-out to date is also available.


  1. Ofcom decided not to make a licence award to the sole applicant for the Southport licence area.
  2. No applications were received for licences we advertised for Aberdeen (South); Dundee; Hull (East); Lincoln; and Shaftesbury. In the cases of Hull and Aberdeen, we received applications to cover other parts of those cities.