Digital One

Digital One is a national commercial digital radio multiplex in the United Kingdom, owned by Arqiva. As of March 2010, the multiplex covered more than 90% of the population[1] from 137 transmitters.[2] Coverage was extended to Northern Ireland in July 2013. It contains a list of DAB and DAB+ radio stations operated by Bauer Media Audio UK, Global and Wireless Group.

Digital One
Licensed areaUnited Kingdom
  • 11D (222.064 MHz)
    • England
    • Wales
    • Northern Ireland
  • 12A (223.936 MHz)
    • Scotland
Air date15 November 1999 (1999-11-15)

Stations carried


Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description DAB launch date Analogue availability
Absolute Radio C1C0 80 kbit/s Mono Adult alternative music, carries London output during any programme splits, but with national news and advertising 15 November 1999 1197 kHz, 1215 kHz, 1242 kHz, 1260 kHz (closed in January 2023)
Classic FM C2A1 128 kbit/s Joint stereo Classical music 15 November 1999 99.9–101.9 MHz
Kiss UK C5C0 80 kbit/s Mono LSF A London-based station specialising in hip hop, R&B, urban and electronic dance music owned by Bauer Radio. Also broadcast on FM in London, South Wales and the Severn Estuary, and East Anglia; all frequencies including D1 now share programme content 27 December 2012 100, 101, 105–108 MHz
Kisstory CFE6 80 kbit/s Mono LSF Old Skool & Anthems. Owned by Bauer Radio as a sibling to Kiss FM UK. Was broadcast on Sound Digital prior to D1 addition. 11 February 2019[3]
LBC C0C2 64 kbit/s Mono A national talk and phone-in station owned by Global Radio and also broadcast on 97.3 MHz in London. 11 February 2014[4] 97.3 MHz (London)
Magic C0C6 80 kbit/s Mono Melodic soft adult contemporary hits. Replaces Absolute Radio 90s. 1 January 2015 105.4 FM (London)
Talksport C0C0 64 kbit/s Mono LSF Sport and talk 15 November 1999 1053, 1071, 1089 khz


Service Service ID Bit rate Audio channels Description DAB launch date Analogue availability
Capital Dance C9ED 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Dance 1 October 2020
Capital UK C5DA 32 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Contemporary Hit Radio 12 September 2016 95.8–107.6 MHz
Capital XTRA C37B 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Urban and Dance Music. Formerly branded as Choice FM; relaunched and renamed to coincide with its national DAB availability 07 October 2013 96.9 and 107.1 MHz (London)
GB News Radio C4F0 24 kbit/s Mono DAB+ News 4 January 2022
Gold UK CEE8 32 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Classic hits. Previously transmitted on local AM and DAB prior to D1 addition, having evolved from Capital Gold (1988). 10 June 2019 1548 kHz (London)
1458 kHz (Manchester)
945 & 999 kHz (Nottingham & Derby)
1557 kHz (Northampton)
1332 kHz (Peterborough)
Heart Dance CFE8 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Rhythmic adult contemporary 21 June 2019
Heart UK CFD1 32 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Adult contemporary music 29 February 2016 96–107 MHz
Heart 70s CAE9 32 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ 1970s music 30 August 2019
Heart 80s[5] C1DC 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ 1980s music 14 March 2017
Heart 90s CBE9 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ 1990s music 29 August 2019
Heart 00s C9F3 32 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ 2000s music 20 May 2022
LBC News C8EA 32 kbit/s Mono DAB+ 24Hr news updates station. Provides updates every 20 mins. 28 October 2019 1152 kHz (London)
Radio X C4CD 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Rock station primarily playing alternative and indie music. Previously broadcast in mono on DAB from launch until moving to DAB+ on 25 October 2019. 21 September 2015 104.9 MHz (London)

97.7 MHz (Manchester)

Smooth Chill C1C3 32 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Chill out, ambient and trip-hop music. 8 April 2020
Smooth UK C6C0 40 kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Melodic hits from the past five decades. 12 March 2020 96.4–108.0 MHz
UCB UK C4CA 24kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Christian music 1 December 2009[6][7]
UCB 2 CBD8 32kbit/s Stereo DAB+ Christian music


On 24 March 1998, the Radio Authority advertised for the first national ensemble to be broadcast on DAB, with the three national commercial services on FM and medium wave required to be included in the ensemble. This included Classic FM, Talk Radio UK (now Talksport) and Virgin Radio (now Absolute Radio).[8] The licence was awarded to the sole applicant, GWR Group and NTL Broadcast to form Digital One.[9] The original licence application included the following stations:[10]

Digital One Ltd (original application)
Classic FM Classical music GWR (now part of Global Radio)
Classic Gold Rock Rock music NTL
Club dance Dance music TBA
Plays, books and music Comedy, drama and serials TBA
Rolling news service Rolling news ITN
Soft AC Female contemporary music TBA
Sports channel Live sports and comment Talk Radio UK
Talk Radio (now Talksport) Talk radio Talk Radio UK (now owned by Wireless Group)
Teen and chart hits Pop and dance music GWR
Virgin Radio (now Absolute Radio) Complementary rock music SMG plc (station is now owned by Bauer Media)

Digital One was due to launch on 1 October 1999,[11] but this was postponed until 15 November 1999.[12]

The "Classic Gold Rock" service eventually went on air as Planet Rock, which remains on air, having migrated from D1 to the Sound Digital multiplex in 2016; it is, however, the only one of the D1 launch stations (bar the INR simulcasts) to still be broadcasting as of 2017, and is also the longest-established DAB-first service in UK national radio, having been a digital-only service until 2013, when new owner Bauer put PR on their 105.2 FM frequency in the West Midlands (previously Kerrang! Radio); the FM berth was turned over to Absolute Radio in September 2015, leaving Planet Rock as a digital-only service once again. The "plays, books and music" service went on air as Oneword. The "Teen & Chart Hits" service became Core, and the "Soft AC" service – which was ultimately provided by the then Capital Radio Group (now part of Global Radio) was launched as Life (later known as Capital Life). The "Sports Channel" proposal was dropped as a separate entity and instead combined with Talk Radio in 2000 to form the current Talksport as broadcast on AM and DAB. ITN's rolling news service ultimately went on air as part of the multiplex, later joined by a business news service provided by Bloomberg. "Club Dance", however, never made it to air. The space released by the absence of the Club Dance and Sports Channel services from the eventual lineup was used to allow the Oneword service to end at midnight rather than the proposed 7pm, and also freed up a slot for a melodic easy-listening music service aimed at an older audience, the Saga-operated PrimeTime Radio.

After the closure of PrimeTime Radio in 2006, the original licence was amended to allow the launch of a new classic and contemporary jazz service, TheJazz which was launched on 25 December 2006, before 31 December 2006 deadline set in the licence amendment.[13]

On 11 February 2008 GCap announced that it was selling its interest in Digital One to Arqiva and that "non-core" DAB stations Planet Rock and TheJazz would be closing by the end of March 2008. Whilst TheJazz ceased broadcasting at midnight on 30 April 2008, Planet Rock was sold off and remains on air. GCap also closed down their two other D1-only stations, Core and Capital Life, prior to GCap being taken over later in 2008 by Global Radio.

Former services

Services previously carried on the multiplex include:

  • Smooth Radio Christmas – festive music service, ran from 1 November until 27 December 2011[14] and operated again as a pop-up in Nov/Dec of 2012, 2014 and 2015 (due to the launch of Capital Xtra there was not space for the service in 2013)
  • Absolute Radio 80s – 1980s music service. Transferred to the Sound Digital multiplex on 29 February 2016.
  • Absolute Radio 90s – 1990s music service. Moved onto Digital One from 2010 – initially sharing a slot with Absolute Radio Extra – having previously been provided on local DAB; returned to local-layer DAB in January 2015 so that its capacity could go towards the addition of Magic to Digital One. Absolute Radio 90s returned to Digital One during 2018 (replacing Magic Christmas), before migrating across to Sound Digital in February 2019, as part of a wider reorganisation of Bauer's space across national and local DAB, ahead of the launch of Scala Radio on SDL in March.
  • Planet Rock – Classic rock music station. Transferred to the Sound Digital multiplex on 29 February 2016.
  • Smooth RadioEasy listening service relaunched in 2010 as national network; local content on local/regional FM frequencies was replaced with network output also broadcast nationally on Digital One. New owners reintroduced local content on local FM/DAB in March 2014 and withdrew Smooth from Digital One in November 2014.
  • NME Radio (ceased on 12 July 2010[15])
  • Panjab Radio (temporary service, ceased on 31 May 2010)
  • Fun Kids (temporary service, ceased on 3 October 2009)
  • Birdsong (ceased on 1 June 2009, replaced by Amazing Radio)
  • TheJazz (ceased on 31 March 2008)
  • Capital Life (ceased on 31 March 2008)[16]
  • Core (ceased on 11 January 2008,[16] immediately replaced by BFBS Radio)
  • Oneword (ceased on 11 January 2008[17] because of financial problems, replaced by Birdsong – see the section below)
  • Primetime (ceased on 24 May 2006, replaced by theJazz on 25 December 2006)
  • D1 Temp (ceased on 9 June 2005 – see the section below)
  • Bloomberg (ceased on 6 December 2003, replaced by D1 Temp)
  • ITN (ceased on 1 July 2003)
  • Smooth Radio 70s (ceased on 6 October 2013)
  • TeamRock SID C0C1 (started on 1 May 2013, ceased on 1 July 2015)
  • Premier Christian Radio (started on 21 September 2009, transferred to the Sound Digital multiplex on 29 February 2016)
  • BFBS Radio – following an initial three-month trial service (replacing Core), which ended on 31 March 2008, test transmissions for a permanent service began on 17 April 2009 and the station officially launched as a full-time service on Digital One at 07:00 on 20 April 2009. The station was withdrawn from Digital One on 6 March 2017; broadcasts of BFBS services on other platforms continue.
  • Heart Extra and Smooth Extra - these stations played automated music during the daytime, simulcasting the breakfast and evening/night programmes of Heart London and Smooth London respectively. Smooth Extra launched 27 December 2014, following the removal of Smooth Radio (2010) from Digital One (Smooth Christmas had used the slot in November/December), with Heart Extra following in February 2016 in tandem with the migration of several stations from Digital One to Sound Digital. Heart Extra and Smooth Extra converted from mono DAB to stereo DAB+ in 2019, and closed on 12 March 2020, replaced by the national Heart UK and Smooth UK feeds (already used on other national platforms such as TV)[18] The Extra stations' broadcast slots on satellite TV had earlier been switched over to Heart 80s and Heart Dance respectively.

In addition to the audio services listed above a number of data services, short lived temporary audio services, and mobile video channels have been broadcast on this multiplex.


Birdsong was a temporary transmission of a continuously looping recording of bird song.

When the magazine-format digital radio station Oneword ceased in January 2008, the birdsong audio returned to the multiplex on the Oneword channel and the service name of the DAB channel changed to "Birdsong", until Amazing Radio launched on 1 June 2009.[19]

See also


  1. "Coverage – Future transmitters". Digital One. Retrieved 13 March 2010. Although already covering more than 90% of the population...
  2. "Coverage – Current transmitters". Digital One. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  3. "Kisstory Replaces Absolute 90s on Digital One", RadioToday, 2019-01-25
  4. "LBC Goes National: Everything You Need To Know". LBC. 11 February 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  5. "Global to launch Heart 80s nationally on DAB", RadioToday 2017-03-13
  6. "UCB goes national on DAB digital radio" (PDF). United Christian Broadcasters. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2009.
  7. "Two new tenants for Digital One". Radio Today. 1 November 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  8. "Radio Authority announces advertisement date for National Commercial Multiplex". Ofcom. Radio Authority. 5 March 1998. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  9. "APPENDIX 3.6 – Digital audio broadcasting" (PDF). Competition Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2007.
  10. "Radio Authority receives one application for first and only National Commercial Digital Multiplex licence". Ofcom. Radio Authority. Retrieved 12 May 2007.
  11. "Digital One is awarded 12 year digital licence". PR Newswire. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  12. Pearse, Justin (20 October 1999). "Motor Show: Digital One unveils launch line-up". ZDNet UK. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
  13. "ANNEX – PART I – Conditions relating to simulcast services and digital sound programme services". Ofcom. Archived from the original (docx) on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2007.
  14. About Smooth Radio – Smooth
  15. ukdigitalradio: News – NME Radio Stops Broadcasting on DAB Digital Radio
  16. West, Dave (11 January 2008). "GCap closing two digital radio stations". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  17. Welsh, James (10 January 2008). "Oneword Radio to shut down". Digital Spy. Retrieved 11 February 2008.).
  18., 2020-03-12
  19. "Amazing – a new DAB station". Radio Today. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  • UK Digital Radio Digital One's consumer website (not seemingly updated since 2017).
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