BMW is to offer DAB radio as standard across its entire range in the UK from January 2013. The move comes after it offered owners of older BMWs the chance to upgrade their vehicles with a retrofit solution.
The BMW announcement is in response to UK government plans to switch over from analogue to digital radio. Currently 94 per cent of the UK is covered by DAB signal with approximately 24 million listeners a week using the format at least once.
News of the across-the-range DAB offer comes soon after BMW partnered with Connects2 and its AutoDAB product to offer a fully integrated retrofit digital radio that is compatible with all BMWs with an RDS text-equipped FM radio.
The unique interface is the first fully integrated aftermarket digital radio available for BMWs in the UK. The AutoDAB system fits behind the dashboard, plugging into the existing radio. Fitting seamlessly behind the existing head-unit, installation takes on average one hour with no additional box or dangling wires, just a small aerial running from the back of the unit, affixing discretely to the top left corner of the windscreen.
Once installed, the station, artist information and song titles are all transmitted via RDS and displayed as text on the car’s existing display. All DAB functions are controlled by a radio frequency remote control fixed to the dashboard and favourite digital radio stations can be stored for quick access, with FM radio stations still available. The BMW digital radio retrofit is priced at £299 fitted and available to order from your local BMW dealer.