Engineering work this week

Please be aware that there is some engineering work to the electricity supply at our transmitter site on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th November. The work will take place between 09:00 and 16:00 both days.
On Thursday, it is unlikely that there will be any outages at all. If there does need to be any interruption to our supply, it will kept to an absolute minimum.
On Friday, we will need breaks in transmissions, possibly on several occasions. We will try and keep these outages to an absolute minimum.
We apologise in advance for spoiling your listening!

 

Broadcasters: Think DAB, think Solent Wireless!

Over the last two years, Solent Wireless has established itself as the leader in small scale DAB digital radio. We have been leading the way in the UK, proving that DAB broadcasting doesn’t have to be difficult. From being awarded our licence by Ofcom to fully launching we took just 69 days, and that included 2 weeks of testing!

Our Portsmouth local DAB multiplex has been broadcasting DAB+ for longer than anyone else in the UK. All of our services are in stereo, and most have DAB slideshow.

As we reflect on operating a multiplex of 21 services of differing genres from a mixture of community and commercial broadcasters, we concentrate on our next steps. Though the details are yet to be finalised, 2018 looks likely to be the year that more ultra local DAB multiplexes, such as ours in Portsmouth, are licensed.

Solent Wireless is a partnership between Angel Radio and Commtronix. We are able to provide consultancy for those interested in learning from our success in Portsmouth. Be it from existing DAB multiplex operators, or from potential DAB multiplex operators. We can help with the technical, licensing, day to day operations and commercial aspects of DAB broadcasting. We have already worked with existing DAB multiplex operators to provide technical help and capacity brokerage.

We encourage broadcasters that want to join the ultra local DAB revolution to think about their place in a digital future. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

info @ solentwireless . com

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Planned engineering work

Please be aware that from 09:00 to 13:00 this Friday, we’ll be undertaking engineering work on our transmitter. During this time there will be several outages to our services, of around 60 seconds. We’ll try our very best to keep any downtime to a minimum.

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Today is our 2nd Anniversary!

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Today, 19th August, the Portsmouth DAB multiplex celebrates its second anniversary of broadcasting. The multiplex is part of an Ofcom/DCMS trial to test the viability of low cost DAB transmission on a very local basis. In Portsmouth, the multiplex has blossomed from launching with just six services, to broadcasting twenty one services to the area covering a wide range of genres. 

 
One of the original launch services is The Flash, a digital and internet community radio station based in Havant. Station Manager Martin Kirby said:
 
“I cannot believe that two very successful years have gone by since we started broadcasting on the Portsmouth DAB multiplex. The DAB platform has given our volunteer based station a real boost and new local listeners are discovering us on DAB all the time. We are very proud to be a part of this experiment locally, and hope to be on air in Portsmouth for many years to come”.
 
The services added to the Portsmouth DAB multiplex since launch cover a wide variety of formats from rock, pop, country, oldies, chart hits, easy listening and more. One of the new formats is a local ethnic station Awaaz FM. The first local DAB station for the ethnic communities of South Hampshire. Ali Beg, the project manager of Awaaz FM said:
 
“Thanks to the Portsmouth DAB multiplex, Awaaz FM is now the biggest ethnic radio station in this area. This was never possible before due to the high costs of traditional DAB multiplexes. The small scale DAB multiplex in Portsmouth clearly shows how community focused the new choice of services can be, and how effectively it reaches out to all members of the community and not just the traditional stations that we are used to, giving the area a much needed variety of stations to choose from!”
 
The Portsmouth DAB multiplex has been pushing the boundaries of DAB broadcasting. It launched within two months of being granted a licence from Ofcom, and has been broadcasting DAB+ services in the UK longer than any other operator. One of the longest operating DAB+ services is BFBS Portsmouth. Nick Beer, the Chief Development Officer at SSVC, the organisation behind BFBS, said:

 
“Working with Angel Radio on the Portsmouth DAB multiplex has allowed us to launch a trial radio service for our significant Royal Navy audience in the city. It also allowed us to trial DAB+ with minimum risk. Something which would otherwise have involved a lot more effort and expense launched very swiftly. Ash and the guys have been great partners in this and we look forward to working with them on an enduring and expanding basis.”
 
The majority of services broadcast DAB slideshow and are broadcast in stereo too. The multiplex is run by local community station Angel Radio with engineering support provided by local company Commtronix.
 
Ash Elford, Angel Radio’s Digital Development Manager said:
 
“It’s been an amazing two years for us in Portsmouth. We’ve demonstrated that we can just get on with things. Here in Portsmouth, we’re improving the listener experience with a broad range of formats, and many of the services feature local content too. And who says stereo is dead – 20 of our 21 services are in stereo! We’ve embraced DAB+ and DAB slideshow in a way that traditional multiplexes haven’t. I’d like to thank our service providers for working with us to enhance listener choice in the Portsmouth area. We’ve demonstrated that DAB doesn’t have to be difficult.”
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JACK 3

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The latest radio station to commence broadcasting on DAB+ digital radio to the Portsmouth area is JACK 3. The station features relaxing hits from the last six decades. Featured artists include Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt, The Carpenters, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder, Chicago, Roxy Music, Paul Simon, Celine Dion, The Hollies, Enya, Aretha Franklin and Michael Buble.

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JACK 3 is broadcast in DAB+. This means radios that do not support DAB+ will be unable to find this service. As a guide, look for the DAB+ logo or green Digital Radio tick mark to be certain of a radio that supports DAB+.
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Awaaz FM returns to Portsmouth DAB

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Having appeared for a trial period in 2016, Awaaz FM has today returned to DAB+ digital radio in the Portsmouth area. Awaaz FM is the first digital ethnic station for Hampshire featuring music in Punjabi, Pushto, Urdu, Hindi and English with speech of interest to the Asian community in Hampshire.

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Awaaz FM is broadcast in DAB+. This means radios that do not support DAB+ will be unable to find this service. As a guide, look for the DAB+ logo or green Digital Radio tick mark to be certain of a radio that supports DAB+.
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Another two new stations for Portsmouth

We’ve recently added another two radio services to our line-up.

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Timeless Radio broadcasts adult standards, classy tunes and music for grown ups from the 1940s to the current day.

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Established as an online station in 2012, Antenna Radio broadcasts pop music from the 1980s to today. Unlike other pop stations, Antenna Radio also features English language pop music from around the world in addition to the UK.

Both Timeless Radio and Antenna Radio are broadcast in DAB+ digital radio, this means some older sets may not be able to receive them. To be certain of a radio that does DAB+, look for the DAB+ logo or the green digital radio tick mark logo.

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May station line-up changes

This coming week will some changes to the station line-up on our Portsmouth DAB multiplex. We say goodbye to Cheesy FM and News Radio UK. You can continue listening to these stations online at www.cheesy-fm.com and www.newsradiouk.com We wish these stations well. We maintain a flexible relationship with our services, so if a station wants to leave, we don’t force them to stay.

As a result of the departure of Cheesy FM, News Radio UK and Unforgettable Radio, we have the capacity to add new services to our Portsmouth DAB multiplex.

Back by popular demand, 60s is returning to DAB+ digital radio. The station relaunches at 9am on Saturday 20th May. Tune in for nothing but the fabulous Swinging 60s!

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Another station returning to DAB+ digital radio is Sleepyhead Radio, a radio station of continuous soothing sounds from home and nature that are designed to help babies drift off to sleep.

There will also be three more stations launching this month on our multiplex, but as they have not made their arrival public yet, we don’t want to steal their thunder!

Finally, Gaydio will become a DAB+ service this week, it’ll result in an improvement to the sound quality, and the station being available in stereo. Older radios have difficulty receiving DAB+, so to ensure you can continue listening to Gaydio, make sure you have a DAB+ radio. Simply look for the DAB+ logo or green digital radio tick mark to be sure of a radio that supports DAB+.
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Line-up changes

On Sunday 30th April, Unforgettable Radio will be leaving digital radio in Portsmouth. The station continues online, and we hope that they are able to return to digital radio some time in the future.

Eagle eyed readers, will have noticed that we recently advertised spare capacity on our multiplex, and we’re delighted to report we will be adding several stations during May. We’ll provide more details in due course.