DAB stations reflect on the 5th Anniversary of the Portsmouth DAB multiplex

We asked the services on our multiplex and radio industry figureheads for their thoughts about the Portsmouth DAB multiplex celebrating it’s 5th anniversary. This is what our service providers had to say…

Steve Simms, Programme Director, Atmosphere Radio (launched on our multiplex on day one as Mango Vibe)

“Happy 5th Birthday to Solent Wireless from Atmosphere Radio! We’ve loved broadcasting to Portsmouth for the last 5 years.

In that time, we’ve gone through a full rebrand (from Mango Vibe to Atmosphere) and from non-stop music, to a full schedule of some of the best and most experienced presenters in radio together with BIG name DJs every Friday and Saturday night.

We’ve also co-promoted club nights at Gunwharf Quays and featured local DJs such as Young Rebel.

We look forward to the Portsmouth club scene re-opening as we plan to do even more! Here’s to the next 5 years from Team Atmosphere!”

Tony Prince, Director, United DJs (launched on our multiplex on 7th July 2018)

“Congratulations on Portsmouth’s fifth birthday from one of your younger participants.

So happy to connect with our many fans in the area.”

Kevin Scott from Hot Radio (launched on our multiplex on 16th July 2020)

I would like to say happy 5th birthday to Angel Radio’s Solent Wireless Portsmouth DAB multiplex from all at Hot Radio.

Although we have only recently joined the multiplex, we found the whole joining process flawless. Small scale DAB is an affordable way to keep different local radio services local and relevant in today’s crazy world.

Small scale DAB and local broadcasting has never been so important for our country. The public are looking at local services for local information and wellbeing through music and local programming.

Its just a shame that small scale DAB has not yet been rolled out across the whole of the UK as it is desperately needed as a vital service, especially during the current pandemic.

Well done again for a great operation. We hope to keep our positive music based service with you as one of the many choices of programming well into the future.”

Ryan Davis from Like Radio (launched on our multiplex 16th July 2020)

“It’s always been a pleasure dealing with Solent Wireless for the Portsmouth DAB multiplex. They are professional, upfront and have been very reliable in terms of transmission, despite being a trial. We hope they obtain the licence full time and are able to continue what they have started – Providing the diverse choice of stations that is not available on other DAB multiplexes within the area”.

Ian Wallace from Gaydio (launched on our multiplex 24th September 2015)
“It’s been great for Gaydio to be on DAB in cities where LGBT+ communities are underrepresented. Small scale DAB has allowed us to do this and reach many more people. Thanks to the team in Portsmouth for a great 5 years!!”

Chris Jarvis from Little Radio (launched on our multiplex 28th September 2019)
“Little Radio is delighted to be on DAB in Portsmouth. We have a growing community of young listeners and it has been great being able to share our children’s radio station with them in this way. Thank you to Ash and everyone on the team for being so helpful and supportive since our launch last year. We wish them every success in the future and look forward to more young families from Portsmouth joining in with Little Radio.” 

Martin Kirby from The Flash (launched on our multiplex on day one)

“I am extremely proud of Tony Smith and his team for working so hard to keep this innovative radio service on the air. I am even more proud of the fact that Angel Radio has led the way in using digital technology to open up the airwaves in the Portsmouth area,  thus allowing so many different tastes to be catered for on DAB.

Back in my pirate days of the Eighties, I dreamed that one day each area would have dozens of 24 hour radio stations, each specializing in a specific music or speach format, from Classical, Easy listening, Oldies, Jazz, Soul, Dance, Pop, Rock, Rolling News, and more besides. The launch of the Portsmouth DAB multiplex five years ago this week made that dream come true, and I must thank Angel Radio, Alan Beech, and especially Ash Elford for making it a reality.

Back in 2012 I launched The Flash as an internet radio station with the intention of eventually gaining a full time FM Community licence. We achieved that in July of last year, and this development would not have been possible without first having the affordable opportunity to operate locally on DAB full time. It allowed us to gain a regular and concentrated local audience, plus many of the presenters you hear on The Flash today joined after discovering us on Portsmouth DAB.

The whole Flash team would like to wish Portsmouth DAB a very Happy 5th Birthday.”

Nicky Ness, Director of Broadcasting & Entertainment, BFBS (BFBS Portsmouth launched on our multiplex on 22nd March 2016 and BFBS Beats launched on 3rd August 2020)

“Working with the Angel Radio team has been a game changer for BFBS – the Forces station, in Portsmouth.  Their work has allowed us to tailor content for our specific Royal Navy audience in the area and gives us a platform to demonstrate the value of bespoke audio services to our community. 

We’ve recently added a second station – BFBS Beats – allowing more music choice and broadening the scope of our service in the area.  Without the small scale DAB initiatives and the hard work of the Angel Radio team in the professional operation of the platform, this just would not have been possible from an economic or technical perspective and we’re just delighted to be continuing this relationship.  Congratulations on the 5-year anniversary and best of luck for the future of the multiplex.”

Jason Bryant, Chairman, Nation Broadcasting (The Breeze and Sam FM launched on our multiplex on 15th May 2016)

“We’ve loved being on the South Coast with Solent Wireless over the years. They’ve shown how to innovate and have made DAB accessible to so many different operators. We look forwards to continuing our relationship with Solent Wireless in a number of areas across the south as we start the exciting journey to full time small scale DAB licences.”    

Simon Hardwick, Managing Director, Southdown Media (80s Rhythm launched on our multiplex on 27th March 2019 and Passion Radio launched on 20th June 2019)

“Congratulations to Angel Radio and Solent Wireless on the 5th Anniversary of the Portsmouth DAB multiplex. The Portsmouth SSDAB trial has provided an unique opportunity for new entrants like Southdown Media to enter the radio market with experimental formats to research audience interest.  

We launched our first service on the Portsmouth DAB multiplex and the Solent Wireless team were supportive and flexible, exactly the approach needed to foster and develop the future of radio broadcasting. This agility gave us the opportunity to react quickly to the Covid-19 outbreak to launch our pop-up station Health Info Radio within four days of the initial idea.  

I’m excited for the future – if other multiplexes follow the Solent Wireless ethos and operational model the future of DAB in the UK will be bright”

Chris Stevens, Station Manager, Chris Country (launched on our multiplex on 25th September 2015)

“Chris Country has been on the Portsmouth multiplex since the early days, and it’s always been a pleasure hearing from listeners in the area. Ash and the team have done such a great job, bringing community broadcasters and specialist formats together, to give genuine choice to listeners. Long may it continue!”

Mason Jordan, Station Producer, Express FM (launched on our multiplex on day one)

“We are very proud to have been one of the first stations on the multiplex which is now bursting with a huge variety of stations. As the radio world is constantly adapting it’s a no brainer to be on DAB across our amazing city. Ash from the multiplex has been amazing helping us stay on air throughout a station relocation, tech changes our end, the pandemic, and has always been there to help.”

Paul Teague, Station Director, Skylab Radio (launched on our multiplex 10th August 2018)

“Ash and the guys at Angel Radio have been very supportive of us, since Skylab popped up on the multiplex two years ago. They have been there if we’ve needed a bit of support and have offered loads of advice. Plus they’ve always kept us abreast with developments, technical issues and changes. Which has been more than useful. So Happy 5th Birthday to Solent Wireless and all the best for the future!”

Our first test transmission is received!