Edinburgh DAB Coverage Plan Final Report Jan 15

DAB Coverage Plan:
Edinburgh Local Multiplex
Publication date: January 2015
Proposed increases to coverage
In December 2013, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed
Vaizey MP, announced that Government, multiplex operators and the BBC had agreed to
improve the coverage of local multiplexes around the UK. These multiplexes carry both
commercial radio services and BBC local or nations’ services.
The proposed improvements entail:
modifications to licensed areas (this term is explained below), to more accurately
reflect existing analogue editorial coverage areas;
changes to DAB frequencies in some places;
modifications to around 50 existing transmitters; and
the implementation of around 190 new transmitters.
While each multiplex carries a range of services, including both commercial radio and the
BBC, the aim of the Coverage Plan is to provide DAB coverage which is equivalent to the
FM coverage of the relevant large local commercial station in each area.
This coverage is expected to be achieved by mid-2016, as part of the joint funding initiative
between Government, the BBC and the multiplex licensee.
This report sets out the predicted coverage of this local multiplex following the programme of
enhancements detailed above. The predicted coverage is expressed in terms of the number
of households and length of major roads which will be covered, and is also shown in maps.
It is worth noting that not all multiplexes will see improvements to coverage as part of this
programme, as some already provide good coverage of their licensed areas. Furthermore as
roll out proceeds some sites may need to be altered due to implementation issues, and this
could affect the coverage predictions shown here. Maps and coverage figures for existing
coverage can be found on the Ofcom website here.
DAB coverage maps
All local digital radio (DAB) multiplex services have a specified licensed area which is shown
on the following maps. This is the geographical area that the multiplex is intended to serve,
and within which the coverage of the multiplex is protected from interference from other
multiplexes. Any coverage falling outside of this licensed area is neither counted as part of
the coverage, nor does Ofcom seek to protect it from interference.
Ofcom DAB coverage maps and figures are produced using the BBC software
implementation of the UK planning model (UKPM). The UKPM methodology has been
agreed between Ofcom, Arqiva, and the BBC. However, the actual implementation of the
UKPM processes does vary between the organisations due to factors such as operating
platform and program coding. As a result predictions and coverage figures produced for the
same set of wanted and interfering transmitter parameters by different organisations can be
expected to exhibit small variations.
The coverage indicated does not represent or imply any warranty by Ofcom that the
technical conditions which form the basis of its definition are satisfied at all points within the
area shown, nor that these conditions would not be satisfied at locations outside of that area.
The associated technical conditions represent a conservative average threshold (for each
relevant measure) for generally acceptable reception for most circumstances: some listeners
find these thresholds too low to deliver what they would like, and others enjoy what they
regard as adequate reception under worse conditions than those corresponding to these
thresholds. Reception quality can differ rapidly with changing location, to a more detailed
extent than is shown on the map.
These maps do not take account of adjacent channel interference which may cause
localised blocking around any DAB transmitter site not used by the wanted service.
However these maps do take account of the interference from other multiplexes expected to
be present when the Coverage Plan has been fully implemented.
These maps represent the percentage of locations served1 rather than the specific field
strength level predicted at a point, as depicted on Ofcom AM and FM coverage maps. The
reason for using this measure is that DAB services provide coverage using multiple
transmitters on the same frequency; a single frequency network (SFN). There are two
advantages of such a network;
Firstly, the signals from several wanted transmitters may add constructively at the
reception point giving a higher wanted signal level,
Secondly, in many locations contributing transmitters may be in different directions
from the receive point. So while the path to one transmitter may be obstructed the
path to another might not.
The following four maps model a range of DAB coverage scenarios:
Indoor coverage under enhanced propagation conditions.
Indoor coverage under normal propagation conditions.
Mobile coverage under enhanced propagation conditions.
Mobile coverage under normal propagation conditions.
Propagation conditions
The prevailing propagation conditions will have an impact on the levels of incoming
interference within the wanted service area. As a result we have predicted the interference
limited coverage for:
The effect of interference during enhanced propagation conditions that occur around
1% of the time, usually during high pressure atmospheric conditions.
Normal propagation conditions which occur for the majority of the time.
Ofcom's definition of what constitutes coverage is based on the worst case (enhanced)
interference propagation conditions. Actual coverage will therefore generally be significantly
more extensive than this.
Percentage of locations served is a measure of how many random points the receiver is expected to
work at in a 100m square area (the size of a prediction pixel). For example if we state that 95% of
locations should be served the radio should work at 95 out of every 100 randomly chosen places
within the prediction pixel.
Mobile and indoor reception
Mobile coverage indicates where car and portable radios used outdoors are
predicted to receive a signal. Ofcom's definition of mobile coverage is based upon
providing a service to motorways and A roads within the licence area with 99%
location and time availability. High percentage location and time requirements are
deemed necessary in order to minimise the possibility that a stationary vehicle, at
traffic lights or road works, might be in an unserved location. Consequently when
vehicles are in motion reception may well be possible beyond the predicted coverage
and areas of lower percentage location availability are shown to indicate this.
Indoor coverage indicates where a radio with an indoor aerial will operate on the
ground floor. This measure takes account of losses as the signal passes through the
walls of the building. In the case of indoor coverage we consider 80% locations to be
a usable signal and consider 95% of locations to provide robust coverage. We do
not believe that coverage at 99% locations is necessary indoors as the listener has
the opportunity to position the radio at a number of places. We measure household
coverage using a proportional counting system that operates as follows:
o In pixels where coverage is predicted to be at or above 95% locations we
consider all households in the pixel to be served.
o In pixels where coverage is predicted to be available at only 80% of locations
we will count only 80% of households to be served
o For pixels predicted to have above 80% but less than 95% locations served
we will count that percentage of households served. For example if there
were 100 households in a pixel predicted to be served at 87% locations we
would consider 87 households to be served and 13 households to be unserved.
o While reception will be possible in pixels predicted to have coverage of less
than 80% of locations, Ofcom will consider all households within them to be
Edinburgh local DAB multiplex (Block 12D) predicted final
Indoor Coverage
Proportional count: 80% to
95% Locations
95% Locations
80% Locations
70% Locations
1% Time
Propagation (HH)
686,117 (94.23%)
Propagation (HH)
687,112 (94.37%)
671,489 (92.22%)
687,775 (94.46%)
691,240 (94.94%)
672,882 (92.41%
688,701 (94.59%)
691,919 (95.03%)
Map Colour
Not Applicable
Table one, total Households within the Digital Licence Area: 728,114 Households
Outdoor Mobile Coverage
99% Locations
95% Locations
90% Locations
70% Locations
1% Time
Propagation (km)
1,345.8 (88.25%)
1,373.2 (90.05%)
1,392.2 (91.29%)
1,417.4 (92.94%)
Propagation (km)
1,354.7 (88.83%)
1,379.6 (90.46%)
1,397.3 (91.62%)
1,419.5 (93.08%)
Map Colour
Table two, total Motorway and ‘A’ road length within the Digital Licence Area: 1,525.0
Site Name
Black Hill
Braid Hill
Earls Hill
Edinburgh SHF
Knock Hill
NT 515 760
NS 828 647
NT 250 694
NT 233 872
NS 721 884
NT 258 741
NT 054 937
NT 252 590
Site height (m)
Aerial Height (m)
Power (kW)
Table three, transmitters in use or proposed for the Edinburgh local multiplex. In the above
table future sites are highlighted in RED.