DAB+ will replace DAB
"the UK is unlikely to make such a switch [ to DAB+] because the majority of the 7 million DAB receivers sold to date are not upgradeable."
Ofcom estimates there are around 120m - 150m FM devices in-use. So it's common sense that DAB+ is bound to replace DAB over time as the number of DAB+ receivers first outnumers, then vastly outnumbers the DAB-only devices. It'll be a gradual process, but the end result is inevitable.
For a stereo station using 128 kbps MP2 on DAB, they could reduce that station to mono at 64 kbps and broadcast a DAB+ version of the same station at higher quality than the MP2 version without requiring any additional capacity at all, so the transition isn't even difficult.
"BBC’s national DAB multiplex presently costs £6 million per annum for a network of 96 transmitters that cover 86 per cent of the UK population. To increase coverage to 99 per cent would require 1,000 transmitters, increasing the cost significantly to £40 million per annum."
I've been provided with info under the Freedom of Information Act that the £40m estimate is for 95% population coverage, so it's going to be far higher than £40m per annum to achieve FM's 99% coverage.
A rule of thumb is that the transmission costs are roughly proportional to the number of transmitters. So using the above figures, that would work out to be about £60m per annum.
In other words, we're going to have to pay through the nose for the privilege of having the choice of stations and the audio quality of those stations being severely limited just so that the BBC and the commercial radio groups can stop us listening to anything they don't produce.
The most outrageous thing about the DRWG report, IMO, is the fact that the BBC obviously has a power of veto to stop these blatantly anti-consumer recommendations being made, but the BBC went along with them.
Then again, this didn't come as any surprise, because the BBC has acted disgracefully on DAB since day 1.