When did DAB launch in the UK?

DAB Digital Radio launched over a number of years

By James Cridland
Posted 7 March 2015, 11.05pm gmt

DAB was first publicly demonstrated, in the UK, in Birmingham in 1991.

After tests from the BBC in London in 1990, it was first permanently broadcast in 1993, with a network of four London transmitters. The BBC started their national service in September 1995 (though coverage was anything but national). National commercial radio followed in November 1999.

The first commercial DAB receivers were on sale in 1999 in the UK - they were hi-fi tuners, costing up to £2,000. The first sub-£100 set, the Pure Evoke-1, was launched in July 2002.

Typically, DAB is held to have "launched" in 1999, when both BBC and commercial radio was available throughout much of the UK, and receivers were in the shops.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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