DAB+ in the UK
For better or worse, as early adopters, all UK DAB transmissions use the original DAB standard. dabonwheels assessment is that it is highly unlikely that significant DAB+ transmissions will commence in the UK before 2020.
Q: What is DAB+?
A: A DAB+ audio signal is encoded in aacPlus. Your iPod uses AAC as standard; aacPlus uses a number of clever techniques to make it more efficient, so audio sounds better at lower bitrates. Roughly, 48kbps DAB+ sounds the same as a 128kbps DAB signal.
Q: I've read that my DAB radio will become obsolete when DAB+ comes in. Is that true?
A: While DAB+ services are now appearing in the UK, there are no plans to switch the majority of radio broadcasting over to DAB+: not yet, anyway. If your radio does not have DAB+ then you will not be able to receive DAB+ stations.
Existing DAB radios will continue to receive all the stations currently broadcasting. It is currently against Ofcom regulations to transmit in DAB+ and so there are no DAB+ stations planned by broadcasters. While there are few DAB+ radios available to buy in the UK, some models do include DAB+ as standard, and more are upgradeable to DAB+ via a firmware download. You can generally check DAB+ capability with the manufacturer.
Other countries are adopting DAB+ simply because they are launching now and it is the most up to date version available to them. DAB+ uses exactly the same transmitters and broadcast technology as DAB, it simply converts sound to digital in a different way and therefore requires sets capable of receiving DAB+.