Austria

Last update: 31-03-2017 - older versions

Digital radio will be launched officially in the first half of 2017. Call for bids for up to 3 multiplexes starting in January 2017. The tender from local or regional terrestrial multiplex platforms for digital terrestrial broadcasting in the standard DAB+ (MUX II) is online at https://www.rtr.at/de/m/Ausschreibungen.

Key aspects of the tender:

  • this is the call for bids for one nationwide multiplex-network with the option to regionalise and a second call for bids for additional regional/local networks (both platform + transmitter-network).
  • The network should be optimised in the use of frequencies - that means SFN.
  • The proposer needs also a concept which is involving the broadcasters for advertising of DAB+ in public
  • Selected Criterias if there is more than one candidate
    • The ensemble should be diversible in opinions and a local content is prefered against global in the case of regional/local radio stations.
    • The time for building the network is limited:
      -          nationwide: 50% of residents within one year; 75% within three years and 90% within five years.
      -          regional/local: an accumulation > 50,000 residents; 50% of residents within one year; 75%  within two years and 100% within three years.
  • The call for tenders ends on June, 12th 2017.
  • The association Digitalradio Austria is happy to provide further information for potential suppliers.

Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR has committed to provide four million euros from its digitisation fund to support the introduction of DAB+ digital radio in Austria.

ORS comm has received a DAB+ trial licence and began broadcasting DAB+ test transmissions on May 28th 2015. The trial has been supported by Digital Radio Austria (Verein Digitalradio Österreich).

Two transmitters are operating as a single frequency network, with one transmitting a 10kW signal. This test mode was originally scheduled to last 10 months from May 28th 2015. However Vienna’s DAB+ testing period has been extended by one year by media regulator KommAustria. All but one of the stations that have been on the test multiplex will continue for the entire test period, which started in May 2015 with 15 stations.

Austria is committed to a digital radio future and a report by the regulators, the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and RTR-GmbH recommended DAB+ in Band III as the way forward. As planned, KommAustria completed a call for interest regarding DAB+ in August 2012. KommAustria intended to launch DAB+ by an open call for tender regarding the DAB+ network if enough parties showed believable and sustainable interest. A minimum limit of 12 possible programs (to fill one MUX coverage) was set. This limit was not reached as too few parties showed interest or failed to meet the criteria of the call for interest. Most remarkably, the public broadcaster ORF and the bigger players in the Austrian market did not show interest but strongly voiced their opposition against the launch of DAB+ in Austria.

There is a group of broadcasters who are very outspoken in favour of DAB+, but the majority of radio stations remain unsure. The public broadcaster ORF has recently renewed its objection to any DAB+ plans. On May 1 2013, the Regulation of the Austrian Communications Authority “Digitalisation Concept” decided that a tender procedure for multiplex mode the corresponding coverages will be launched once the authority presented a vested interest in digital radio and a sustainable approach.  There will be no further calls for interest but the possibility for a call for tender upon request.

Nevertheless a working group that was created in 2009 to consider the countries digital future is still at work. It's members are stakeholders from the Austrian radio market who represent opponents and proponents of digital radio. It consists of the regulatory authority, the public broadcaster ORF, the commercial and non-commercial broadcasters associations, the electronic industry and consumer associations. The group is constantly watching and evaluating the progress of digital radio in other European countries. The success of digital radio in Germany will have an impact on whether Austria decides to implement DAB+.

New club aims to establish digital radio in Austria

The Austrian Association of the Electrical and Electronic Industry (FEEI), and Austrian radio stations such as Radio Arabella and LoungeFM have founded the digital radio club, Digital Radio Austria. The aim of the new organisation is the promotion and development of digital radio in Austria, developing the media category “Radio” in the digital media world, the establishment of radio on new platforms and to promote the provision of information and support for education and training in the field of electronic and new media.

Last update: 18-08-2015 - older versions

The application for a test phase will foresee one year, with the possibility of an additional second year. After this test phase, a rollout from the east to the west of Austria is intended to start.

Coverage of the trial multiplex currently on air

Coverage in the North

Coverage in the South

Coverage in the East

Coverage in the West

Last update: 06-04-2017 - older versions

In this country there is

on air.

One trial multiplex is in operation in Vienna. In Vienna the digital radio pilot project currently on air has space allocated for 17 stations. There are currently 15 DAB+ services on air. Two slots are expected to remain unused for the time being. On April 3 2017, the media authority KommAustria extended the existing digital radio test operation in Vienna and its surrounding area by another year.

 

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 4 11 15

Last update: 03-02-2017 - older versions

Cum. receiver sales ~400.000 (incl. line fit automotive)

Last update: 21-11-2016 - older versions

Cum. receiver sales ~400.000 (incl. line fit automotive) since 2013.

Nearly three months after the launch of DAB+ services in Vienna, Gernot Fischer, Managing Director of Digitalradio Austria emphasised in an interview with Der Standard in August 2015 the added value of DAB+. He reported that the estimated number of receiver sales to date is approximately 255,000 (excl. internet sales and in-car receivers), thanks to the strong collaboration with retail. Read the article

 

                   DAB+ receivers available at Media Markt

 

                    DAB+ receivers available at Saturn

 

          DAB+ receivers available at Conrad

Last update: 18-05-2016 - older versions

Current Trial on air

In Vienna, DAB+ is being tested in a pilot project for ten months until 01 April 2016. The pilot project was approved by the broadcasting regulator, KommAustria. The multiplex platform operator ORS comm GmbH & Co KG is able to test transmission capacities on "VIENNA 8 (Liesing) channel 11D", "Wien 9 (DC Tower 1) channel 11D" and "Wien 8 (Liesing) channel 12B". Items which are to be tested in the pilot project are, for example, switching between two frequency blocks (11D and 12B) and their impact on the recipient.

Previous Trials

Two DAB trials ended in 2008. One began in 1999 in the capital Vienna and covered up to 1.73 million people, the other one started in 2000 in the federal state of Tyrol (two sites near the capital of Innsbruck) and covered round about 295,000 people, approximately 40% of the Tyrolian population. The two trials were run by the public broadcaster ORF, with only ORF programs transmitted. About 19% of Austria’s population was covered by a T-DAB signal.

In 2011 the network operator ORS GmbH, a 60% subsidiary of the ORF, made plans to launch a DAB+ trial in 2012 but stopped the project in autumn 2011.

The trial that ended in 2008 included three transmitters in Vienna on Channel 12B. The multiplex featured classical music, Radio Wien (local station), pop music and FM4 pop music (all by ORF). The Austrian public broadcaster ORF was also awarded a DAB digital radio trial licence for the Federal State of Tyrol. ORF set up two DAB digital radio transmitters in Tyrol, covering the Inn Valley between Kufstein and the Brenner Mountain (Channel 12C). Ö1, Ö3, FM4 and the regional station Radio Tyrol, were available on the multiplex. This meant that there was continuous DAB coverage between South Germany and Northern Italy.

These tests have taken place behind closed doors. 

 

Last update: 18-11-2015 - older versions

The market is regulated by the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and by the Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH, RTR) that provides operational support for KommAustria.

Austria is committed to a digital radio future and a report by the regulators, the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and RTR-GmbH recommended DAB+ in Band III as the way forward.  A working group was created in 2009 and its members are stakeholders from the Austrian radio market who represent opponents and proponents of digital radio. It consists of the regulatory authority, the public broadcaster ORF, the commercial and non-commercial broadcasters associations, the electronic industry and consumer associations. The group is watching and evaluating the progress of digital radio in other European countries. 

Last update: 18-05-2016 - older versions

The association 'Digital Radio Austria' is an initiative to develop the media genre radio, which is supported by the Association of the electrical and electronics industry, together with research institutions, private radio operators, manufacturers and dealers. The club members have set themselves the goal of establishing digital radio in Austria. For more information please visit, http://www.digitalradio-oesterreich.com/.

KommAustria publishes digitization concept 2017
28.04.2017 - Austria - Austria
According to the "Digitization Concept 2017", KommAustria is deepening its frequency planning for the establishment and expansion of digital audio broadcasting on the basis of DAB+ and is preparing the field for further calls.
From https://www.rtr.at/de/pr/PI28042017Medien:

Austrian DAB+ testing period extended by at least one year
06.04.2017 - Austria - Austria
The Austrian media authority KommAustria has extended the existing digital radio test period in Vienna and its surrounding area by another year. Fifteen radio programs have been broadcast for two years, within the scope of the test service.
From Radio magazine:

KommAustria extends DAB+ test operation with ORS
04.04.2017 - Austria - Austria
On 3 April, the media authority KommAustria extended the existing DAB+ digital radio test facility in Vienna and its surroundings by another year. In the Greater Vienna area, 15 radio programs have been broadcast for the last two years within the scope of the test service, both from established as well as from completely new radio broadcasters.
From elektro.at:

Four MUX transmission operators present their ideas
29.03.2017 - Austria - Austria
Four potential multiplex transmission operators presented their concepts at an event, hosted jointly by Digital Radio Austria and the Association of Commercial Radios (VÖP) on 28 March 2017. The conference, which was held in Vienna, Austria brought together potential multiplex operators and broadcasters for the new nationwide DAB+ multiplex. The open tender for applicants to manage one nationwide DAB+ multiplex, and if required additional regional/local DAB+ multiplexes, will close on 12 June 2017.
From elektro.at:

Four companies in the race for digital radio bidding
29.03.2017 - Austria - Austria
On 28 March 2017, a conference was held in Vienna, Austria bringing together potential multiplex operators and broadcasters for the new nationwide DAB+ multiplex. The four potential multiplex operators presented their concepts at the event, hosted jointly by Digital Radio Austria and the Association of Commercial Radios (VÖP). There is currently an open tender for applicants to manage one nationwide DAB+ multiplex, and if required additional regional/local DAB+ multiplexes, which will close on 12 June 2017.
From krone.at:

RTR provides DAB+ funding of up to €4 million
22.03.2017 - Austria - Austria
Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR has committed to provide four million euros from its digitisation fund to support the introduction of DAB+ digital radio in Austria. The allocation of the funds, for the period up to 2020, has been set out in a report published today.
From Radioszene:

4 million Euro fund for digital radio in Austria
22.03.2017 - Austria - Austria
Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR is providing up to four million euros for the launch of DAB+ services. Half the fund is planned for the tender, which runs until June, and the remaining two million is devoted to any future calls for tenders by 2020. A maximum of 50% of the actual costs are subsidized. "If, for example, a nationwide service with 15 programs were to be launched, then we could imagine providing about 1.5 million for the radio operators involved over a three-year period. A further 500,000 is available to promote regional DAB+ coverings", explained RTR's Managing Director, Alfred Grinschgl.
From derStandard.at:

Austrian digital radio event to focus on the growth of DAB+
17.03.2017 - Austria - Austria
A one day event hosted jointly by Digital Radio Austria and the Association of Commercial Radios (VÖP) is being held in Vienna, Austria on 28 March 2017 for potential multiplex operators to present their concepts on DAB+ digital radio to interested radio broadcasters. There is currently an open tender for applicants to manage one nationwide DAB+ multiplex and if required additional regional/local DAB+ multiplexes which will close on 12 June 2017.
From Digital Radio Austria:

ORS aims to expand the digital radio infrastructure
09.03.2017 - Austria - Austria
The ORF broadcasting subsidiary ORS is currently exploring the operation of digital radio with interested radio stations. Two tenders of the Austrian Communications Authority for local, regional and nationwide terrestrial multiplex platforms for digital terrestrial broadcasting in the standard DAB+ are the basis for this.
From Der Standard:

DAB+ the new radio standard in Europe
06.02.2017 - Austria - Austria
Digital Radio Austria has translated WorldDAB's presentation focusing on the growth of DAB+ across Europe into German.
From Digital Radio Austria:

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Key Information

Status: trial and/or regulation
Population: 8.5 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 29%
Services: 15 DAB+
Receiver sales (cumulative): 400,000 devices
Total Sales (cumulative): 400,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 10%
Last update: 03.02.2017

Useful Links

Digital Radio Oesterreich
Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria)
Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH
The Telekom-Control Commission - an independent authority