Angel Radio celebrates the 5th anniversary of the Portsmouth DAB multiplex

Today, Wednesday 19th August 2020, marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Portsmouth DAB multiplex. Operated by Angel Radio under the Solent Wireless brand, the multiplex launched as part of a nine month Ofcom trial to examine the practical aspects of DAB multiplexes being operated by smaller broadcasters at a lower cost than traditional DAB multiplexes, using open source software. The trial has subsequently been extended numerous times resulting in the Portsmouth licence being extended to the end of 2021, while other small scale multiplexes will have the opportunity to apply for long term licences later this year.

Launching initially with 6 local services, the line-up has evolved. Today there are 26 services broadcasting on the Portsmouth DAB multiplex, comprising a mixture of community, small and established commercial broadcasters. 

2 more services have been announced as joining the Portsmouth DAB multiplex line-up today. 

Aspen Waite Radio will be a service launching soon from accountancy firm Aspen Waite featuring a daring mix of indie, rock and business related speech.
Launching on 1st October, Christmas Radio will play festive Christmas hits all day every day until the end of the year.

To celebrate the occasion, Angel Radio’s Digital Development Manager, Ash Elford, will lead a live stream on Facebook at 20:00 taking a look at the progress of the Portsmouth DAB multiplex from the original licence application up to the current day, plus a look ahead to the future.

Anyone interested in watching the live stream can view it at https://www.facebook.com/solentwireless/live
The Solent Wireless website features contributions from those involved in Portsmouth DAB multiplex as well as other notable figures within the industry celebrating the progress made over the last five years.

Singer Kelli-Leigh inspires Portsmouth radio station to re-write music history

Kelli-Leigh. Never heard of her? With three UK top 10 singles, two number 1’s, a Billboard dance chart 1 and 2 and a Grammy nomination under her belt you should have. But she is rarely credited for her work, as she used to be hired for a nominal fee as a session musician. She is not alone.
For decades session musicians have been making a gigantic contribution to worldwide hit records but they haven’t been given the recognition they deserve. Now a Portsmouth radio station has set out to change that.
Atmosphere Radio has pledged to start re-writing music history by launching Be Vocal and becoming the first radio station in the world to give featured singers the credit that they deserve.

Programme Director Steve Simms said “As part of our Be Vocal campaign, all of our presenters will now mention all featured singers when they introduce a song.
“We’ve also adapted the artist names on our website and mobile app so that the names of the guest singers will appear on the Now Playing information.
“As a radio business, we provide financial support to the artists we play in the form of royalties via PRS and PPL, but we’ve decided to lead the way in the radio industry and support the artists morally too.”

Speaking to the station’s breakfast presenter Suzi Martin, Kelli-Leigh said “You don’t really think about it when you’ve got nobody looking out for your best interests, but suddenly from 2014, my voice was everywhere and you go ‘oh, that’s not cool, I should probably have my name on this’.

“And if my name was on the record then, maybe I’d have a different path now. I didn’t get given the choice, or the opportunity and just got paid my session fee”

Not only that, but breakfast presenter Suzi Martin plans on literally rewriting the records: “I’ve persuaded the bosses to let our listeners show their support for Kelli-Leigh and send in their singles to Atmosphere Radio. We’ll then send them all onto Kelli-Leigh for her to sign her name on – and then send them back to our listeners with the correctly worded sleeves!”

If you wish to show your support to Kelli-Leigh and send your CD or vinyl single into Atmosphere Radio for Kelli-Leigh to autograph, post them with your full name and address to:
Atmosphere Radio, 65 Brighton Road, Worthing BN11 3EE

Singles that feature Kelli-Leigh, but don’t credit her on the sleeve include: Duke Dumont
featuring Jax Jones – I Got U
Ferreck Dawn & Redondo – Love Too Deep
Second City – I Wanna Feel

New stations

We’ve recently added two new stations to our Portsmouth DAB+ multiplex.

Hot Radio play upbeat RnB, soul and dance music from the 1990s to the present day. Like Radio play current chart hits.

We’ve got even more stations launching in the next couple of months, stay tuned for updates.

In other news, Awaaz FM Radio have ceased broadcasting on our DAB+ multiplex.

Ofcom must press on with long term small scale DAB licensing

At approximately 04:20 this morning our Portsmouth DAB+ multiplex went off the air. The reason for it going off air is frustratingly the same as most of our other outages we’ve had over the past year – the internet connection at our transmission site. I’d really like to ditch our ISP (Silverlining Convergence) and invest in a traditional broadband line. However the cost of installation and then the minimum contract period is simply not financially viable considering that our licence is currently rolled-over on a month to month basis by Ofcom.

I urge Ofcom to press ahead with licensing small scale DAB multiplexes as soon as possible. With a long term licence, we can make long term investment. We can give a consistent experience for listeners. Over the last four and a half years, the 10 trial multiplex operators have demonstrated that the technology behind small scale DAB is reliable, they have technically innovated and have provided consumers with a broad spectrum of services and formats.

I know that here in Portsmouth, Ofcom will advertise a licence that anyone can apply for, there is no automatic right for Angel Radio to keep the multiplex licence. I understand that. What small scale DAB needs from Ofcom is certainty. Ofcom still haven’t published a statement response to the small scale DAB consultation that closed in October 2019, even though they said they would in early 2020.

As a charity, it would be reckless for Angel Radio to make any long term financial commitments now without having a long term licence in place. Our service providers want the same clarity too. Therefore, I urge Ofcom to press ahead with the proper licencing of small scale DAB multiplexes as a matter of urgency.

Ash Elford
Digital Development Manager, Angel Radio

Outage

*** Services restored at 09:05 ***

We’re sorry, but all services on our Portsmouth DAB multiplex are currently off-air due to a suspected power supply fault with our internet connection at our transmission site. Please bear with us, while we investigate this.

Neal McClelland’s new residency on Atmosphere Radio

Dance station Atmosphere Radio is expanding its weekend line-up with Northern Ireland-based DJ Neal McClelland joining the line-up. Neal’s Nocturnal show can already be heard on Cool FM in Northern Ireland, but will now also be available across the South Coast of England every Friday night.

Neal will debut on Atmosphere Radio this Friday night and he’s really looking forward to it. “Atmosphere is the perfect home for my choice of the latest dance and world exclusives. I’m ready to spread the love to a wider audience.”

Programme Director Steve Simms said “Neal’s energy, passion and knowledge of the music really cuts through and his contact book is hard to rival. His show will make an excellent addition to our schedule and we can’t wait to get him on board”.

Managing Director Robbie Harrison said “Brighton, Portsmouth and the surrounding area already have a thriving dance scene and Neal’s show fits in perfectly.”

Nocturnal with Neal McClelland can be heard every Friday night at 10pm on Atmosphere Radio, on DAB from Brighton to Portsmouth and online on the Atmosphere Radio app, smart speakers and the website Atmosphere.Radio