DAB switchover date set

The Government has outlined plans to switch off analogue radio signals by 2015 in its Digital Britain report published on Tuesday.

The move, which would see a similar switchover process to the Digital TV switchover scheme currently running, would mean radio listeners would have to upgrade to a DAB enabled radio within the next 7 years.

In the UK, around a third of all households already have digital radios, a long way off from being anywhere near saturated. However the report says that the move to digital will be to "provide clarity to broadcasters, manufacturers and listeners, alongside cost-savings and economies of scale which will be necessary to achieve the Digital Radio Upgrade programme".

Most affected would be the legion of radio listeners, some 34 million, in cars. Currently left with not many options, the government is recommending that all new cars should come with a DAB radio by 2013.

‘'We are delighted that the Digital Britain report recommends a clear migration date for in-car DAB and even more pleased to see major car manufacturers already giving their support", says Paul Smith, general manager of PURE, the DAB radio manufacturer.

The company, that offers a DAB radio for the car called the Highway, says it plans to release more products to fulfil the growing demand it hopes will be created in the next 7 years.