Italy

Last update: 09.08.2022 - older versions

DAB frequency plan approved

In August 2022, the Italian communications regulator, AGCOM, approved the provisional national plan for the allocation of frequencies in the VHF-III band for DAB+ (PNAF-DAB).

PNAF-DAB plans frequencies for the following DAB+ networks:

- 3 national networks with isofrequency structure for macro-area broadcast;

- 54 local networks with regional coverage, of which 27 can be broken down into sub-regions;

- 36 local networks with multi-provincial or provincial coverage.

AGCOM noted: "This plan is classified as provisional as it remains formally open, under the coordination of the MISE [Ministry of Economic Development] an international negotiating table for the planning of frequencies along the Adriatic basin..."

Provisional national plan for the allocation of frequencies in the VHF-III band for the DAB + digital sound broadcasting service (PNAF-DAB)

 

Digital radio required in all receivers from January 2020

Starting from January 2020, Italian law requires all radio receivers sold in Italy to have digital capability: http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2017/12/29/17G00222/sg

Italian public and private DAB+ network operators - namely Radio Rai, EuroDab Italy and DAB Italia - have expanded their respective DAB+ broadcast networks in anticipation of the law requiring all radio receivers sold to the public to digital radio capabilities.

The Italian Government has committed to a road map for DAB+ development, a key part of this will be a plan for coordinated frequency planning. 

In September 2019, Italy's Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli expressed his commitment to DAB+ and the radio industry's transition to digital radio, highlighting his plan to increase the number of DAB+ frequencies available.

Last update: 23.02.2022 - older versions

Current Coverage

The combined coverage of the regular and trial broadcasts is estimated to be around 86% of the Italian population (i .e. people in reach of DAB+ transmissions for outdoor coverage). 

Services on Air in Italy

At the end of 2018, across South Tyrol 13 transmission sites in FM were turned off.

22 programmes can still be listened to on FM  through distant locations, even if with a slight quality reduction.

RAS will no longer be investing in FM due to the high cost associated with it:

  • FM distribution network:  212 transmission sites broadcasting 3 programmes
  • DAB+ distribution network: 92 transmission sites for 22 programmes to cover 99,6% of population.

National Multiplexes

1. Rai (public broadcaster)

RaiWay's 18 transmission sites account for coverage of 43% of the population (Rome, Aosta, Turin, Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Venice, Bologna, Naples, Oristano, and Palermo). €6m was allocated for extension of coverage with the activation of 60 new transmission sites by the end of 2015. In August 2014, Rai launched three new digital programs on DAB+: Webradio Radio Rai WR6, WR7, WR8. These 3 programs were added to the 7 already on-air: RAI 1, RAI-2, RAI-3, FD4, FD5, Isoradio and GRparlamento. RAI has a local multiplex (4 sites) for Trentino including the local versions of Radio Uno, Radio Due and RAI Südtirol. So 14 sites transmit the Italian-wide DAB version, and 4 the local TAA mux (= in total 18).

2. DAB Italia

With approximately 165 transmission sites on-air, DAB Italia is offering the largest continuity of DAB+ signal from the north to the south of the Italian peninsula. Stations on-air include 8 simulcast FM programmes: Radio DeeJay, M2O, R 101, Radio 24, Radio Capital, Radio Maria, Radio Radicale, RDS (Radio Dimensione Suono) plus 11 programmes available exclusively on DAB+: Deejay 30 Songs, Capital Funky, RDS Relax, Radio Maria Albania (in Albanian), m2o Dance, Kc1 Test, Kc2 Test, Kc3 Test, Radio 105DAB, Radio24 Il Sole 24 Ore+, RR News. In total 19 programmes are receivable from the Austrian border down to the South, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, on approximately 6,500 Km of main roads of Italy.

3. EURODAB ITALIA

The EuroDab Italia multiplex covers approximately 75% of the population with 40 transmission sites. Programmes on air include 6 simulcast FM programs: RTL 102.5+, Radio Italia SMI (Solo Musica Italiana), Radio Padania, Radio Vaticana, Radio KissKiss and Radio Freecia. Three programmes are available exclusively on DAB+: RTL 102.5 Best, RTL Guardia Costiera, RTL Via Radio Digital. A total of 9 programs are receivable from Bolzano down to Calabria and Sicily. http://www.eurodabitalia.it

 

Local Multiplexes

DBTAA – Trentino Alto Adige Area – Band III, 10A

Programs: Radio Anaunia, Radio Digi-One, Radio Gamma, Radio Italia Anna 60, Radio NBC, Radio Primierortt La Radio, Sudtirol 1, Radio Tirol, Trentino In Blu Radio. 

Digiloc – Trentino Alto Adige Area – Band III, 12D

Programs: Bella Radio, DELTARETE5, Radio Birkina, Radio Margherita, Radio Number One, Radio Pace, Radio Sound 95, Radio Studio Piu, Radio Valbelluna, Radio Viva.

Rundfunk-Anstalt Sudtirol (RAS) – Trentino Alto Adige Area – Block 10B and 10D

RAS approved the installation (March 2013) of a further 13 transmitters during 2014 and 2015. RAS currently has 28 transmitter sites in Alto-Adige and 2 in Trentino in operation.

DAB Media – Trentino Alto Adige Area

The consortium of local radio stations in Bolzano won the award by the Ministry of Block 10C in Band III and may switch to DAB+ in areas already covered such as Bolzano and cover with 6 new plants the whole province: Penegal (city of Bolzano), Val Venosta, Mutta (area of Merano) Plosehütte (Brixen) Freienfeld (area of Vipiteno) and Plan de Corones, reaching more than 80% of the population.

CR DAB – Rome Area – Band III, 13F

Programs: Radio Radio, Kiss Kiss Italia, Dimensione Suono Roma, Dimensione Suono 2, Ram Power, Radio Subasio, Radio Suby, Radio Subasio +, Tele Radio Stereo, Tele Radio Stereo 2 RMC2, Studio 93.

Vatican Radio – Rome Area – began services in July 2007 on frequency block 7B and is broadcast by Castel Gandolfo and S.M.Di Galeria Services.

Further information on local multiplexes on air in Italy is available at https://digitalradio.it/operatori-locali/.

Test of services on air in Italy

Click the links below to see the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) reports including RAI WAY's tests on its DAB+ services in Italy

 

Last update: 11.03.2022 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Please note:

(a)    These web pages are updated regularly to reflect current services on air, however they may not be exactly up to date.

(b)    The logos shown on these pages are for illustrative purposes only – manufacturers and broadcasters are directed here for information on implementing station logos.

In Italy, there are three regular national (2 commercial and one public) and 39 regular local multiplexes on air. In total there are 51 DAB+ national stations total, 20 simulcast on FM and 31 DAB+ stations available exclusively on DAB+, plus nearly 400 local stations simulcast on FM. All of them (national and local) are data services. In addition, 2 TPEG networks are on air, provided by InfoBlu (EuroDAB Italia and RaiWay multiplexes).

National

Prior to the launch of digital radio in Italy, there were just 21 national radio stations available on FM. Following the launch of DAB+ there are now 51 national radio stations available on DAB+.

20 of the national stations are simulcasts of FM stations and 31 are stations available exclusively on DAB+.

Local

As of January 2022, there were 39 local multiplexes on-air (nearly 400 local services on DAB+).

 

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 116 20 136
Data services 0 7 7
Total11627143

Last update: 23.02.2022 - older versions

In Italy, 100% of new cars sold are factory-fitted with DAB+.

Italy was the first country to introduce regulation mandating all new receivers (consumer and automotive) to include DAB+ from January 2020.

New vehicles produced before January 2020, which were not factory-fitted with a DAB+ receiver could only be sold up to 21 December 2020.

Last update: 30.11.2021 - older versions

Budget law 2018-2020 (all radios sold from 2020 to be digitally capable)

An Official announcement has been published in Italian law requiring all radio receivers to have digital capability from 1 Jan 2020: http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2017/12/29/17G00222/sg.

For more information on this legislation see the WorldDAB EECC Factsheet

 

Last update: 18.04.2018 - older versions

Several trials have taken place in Italy over recent years.  

Last update: 01.09.2020 - older versions

Starting from January 2020, Italian law requires all radio receivers sold in Italy to have digital capability: http://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2017/12/29/17G00222/sg

Key features of regulation for digital radio in Italy:

  • Band III
  • DAB+ licences are usually issued to existing FM licence holders
  • National and local multiplexes must carry at least 7 stations each
  • The licence period for content providers is 12 years and 20 for network operators
  • City state Vatican in Rome is transmitting in both Band III and L-Band
  • DAB+ network build out is focused on highways to ensure uninterrupted reception

The Ministry of Economic Development has started the procedure to assign the frequency blocks for local and national (commercial and public) digital radio services for the regions of Valle D’Aosta and Umbria, for Torino and Cuneo provinces, in Piedmont. This procedure closed on 20 June 2015 (www.digitalradio.it/blog/la-digitalradio-corre-veloce/).

In 2009 AGCOM (Italian Communications Authority) approved regulation which set out steps for the roll out of digital radio across Italy. Broadcasters can opt for DAB, DAB+ or DMB and the regulation allows for the migration of services from analogue to digital. It provides clear regulation on coverage, networks for national services, spectrum allocation for services, local coverage and rules on simulcasting and new content.

The regulation specified one national network for the public broadcaster RAI, and two national networks for commercial radio. Space was made available for local radio stations and the network operator was given additional capacity to provide data services. 

Licences are issued initially to existing FM licence holders, with remaining spectrum available for new entrants. Each radio station has the right to use 72 CUs of a multiplex for its programmes. The licence period for content providers is 12 years and for network operators is 20 years.

FM Switch off in South Tyrol

In the Italian region of South Tyrol, network operator RAS started switching off FM services in December 2017. Since 2008 RAS has been transmitting digital radio stations in both DAB and DAB+ standards. Now, 20 years after the birth of digital radio transmission, RAS will completely switch to the transmission in DAB+. This switchover is due to government requirement. At this time RAS is transmitting 13 digital radio stations accoording to DAB+ and another nine stations using the older DAB standard (RAI Südtirol, Bayern 3, BR Klassik, B5 aktuell, Ö1, ORF Radio Tirol, Ö3, FM4, Swiss Jazz). Those 9 stations from january 31st on will be sent according to DAB+ only.

Last update: 02.03.2022 - older versions

Campaigns

Heavyweight industry-funded marketing campaigns across a variety of media platforms to promote digital radio have been running in Italy since 2013. Radio campaigns promote DAB+ digital radio across all national and local commercial FM networks. National broadcasters do cross-promotion of digital radio via www.digitalradio.it and daily and periodical press as well as social media channels including facebook, twitter and soundcloud.

2014: I discover digitalradio
2015: I learn digital radio
2016: I use digital radio…and you?
2017/2018: discover the magic of digital radio DAB+ in your car! DIBIDIDOBIDI DAB!
2019/2020: focused on letting drivers know that from 2020 onwards all new cars are sold equipped with DAB+ as standard
2021: three original rap songs that highlight the advantages of DAB+ digital radio

All the marketing campaigns are based on radio spots set in the car as 80% of radio listening is in-car in Italy. The campaigns are broadcast by all private national radio stations and local radio stations. With more than 1,000 spots the campaigns have reached 30 million radio listeners in Italy per day. All spots can be heard at https://soundcloud.com/digitalradioit

 

Company gadgets

Offers and Promotions in the automotive sector 

An Italian advertisment for Nissan, featuring digital radio, from the daily newspaper “la Repubblica”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Italy, the first meeting of the Media DAB consortium
27.01.2023 - Media DAB S.C.A.R.L. WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
The first meeting of the Italian Media DAB consortium was held over the weekend of 20 to 22 January 2023 at the Relais Franciacorta in Corte Franca (Brescia - Italy). The 110 radio stations of the consortium from eight Italian regions participated. Speakers for Media DAB were Vincenzo Dolce (President), Ettore Vantaggiato (Technical Director), Gianluigi Petruccio (Communication) and Monica Ponti (Marketing). For the technical aspects Francesco Berti and Alessandro Tomassini from Itel, Alessandro Sponchioni from GatesAir and Gianluca Busi from 22HBG. For the strategic and legal aspects, lawyers Massimo Lualdi and Stefano Cionini of Consultmedia. For the accounting aspects Franco Depasquale (Auditor). Following the speeches there was a 'questions and answers' session with the consortium radio stations and speakers.

(FM-world) Read more


Italian DAB convention explores AI and adapting
25.01.2023 - Media DAB S.C.A.R.L. WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
The DAB convention, held on Saturday 21 January in Franciacorta (Bs) by local consortia MediaDab, SpaceDab and GoDab, attracted a lot of interest. The day was opened by MediaDab President Vincenzo Dolce, followed by speeches from many industry professionals. Among others, Gianluca Busi, Innovation Manager of the Elenos Group and CEO of 22HBG (FM-world's publishing company), who spoke about how Artificial Intelligence can be used in radio broadcasting. The real challenge,' Busi emphasised, 'will be how to give value and how to capitalise economically on DAB, which must not be an additional cost for local radio stations. Busi sees DAB+ as a green, positive light, which, together with the radio stations' other digital assets (websites, apps, smart speakers), will change tomorrow to adapt, thanks also to artificial intelligence, to the way the new generations use information and content.

(FM-world) Read more


RadioCassinoStereo grows listeners and coverage in Rome on DAB+
23.01.2023 - Italy Italy
The data comes from the listening survey carried out throughout Italy by TER (Tavolo Editori Radio) and referred to the entire year 2022. The data comes from the audience survey carried out throughout Italy by TER (Tavolo Editori Radio) and referring to the entire year 2022. The positive trend sees an increase in the number of 'Average Day Listeners' (+10%) and 'Quarter Hour Listeners' (over +50%) compared to the year 2021. "A figure that we were expecting," said Editor Enzo Pagano, "which is also the result of continuous technical and coverage updates: for more than six months now, RadioCassinoStereo has also been present in DAB+ in Rome and its province."

(RadioCassinoStereo) Read more


LifeGate Radio debuts on DAB, "with lower energy consumption and emissions"
20.01.2023 - Top story - Italy Italy
LifeGate Radio adopts DAB+ technology. The radio station that focuses on sustainability issues, can be listened to via DAB+ in eight regions and 28 Italian cities and areas, as well as the French Riviera. "For LifeGate Radio, the adoption of DAB+ technology represents a fundamental, necessary and natural step in the path of growth in the name of sustainability issues, as well as a competitive advantage because it allows us to be present in new cities and regions without switching from FM, with lower energy consumption and emissions, while maintaining a high sound and music quality," says Enea Roveda, CEO of LifeGate.

(Primaonline) Read more


No Name Radio targets younger listeners
17.01.2023 - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
No Name Radio, the new channel 'powered by Rai' dedicated to a target audience of the young and very young, launched on air on 18 December. The station broadcasts on the DAB+ Rai multiplex and online. "The No Name Radio project was launched last spring with the aim of offering a digital radio to young people aged between 15 and 24 - a complex and challenging target," explains Roberto Sergio, director of Rai Radio. "Today we are ready to go. Our radio will be a digital environment in which we want young people to recognise themselves and help to grow."

(Rai) Read more


After recent rumours, government reassurance on DAB+ development focus
12.01.2023 - Italy Italy
After the recent rumours on possible interventions on the occupation of the FM band, Minister Adolfo Urso, during the hearing at the Chamber of Deputies (IX Transport Commission) on the programme of the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy (Mimit) for communications, reassures: DAB+ development is central for radio, and no divestment of analogue for as long as it is necessary.

(NewsLinet) Read more


DAB: final consolidation before tenders
30.12.2022 - Italy Italy
The deadline is approaching (10/01/2023) for the consultation launched on 13/12/2022 by the Ministry of Enterprise and Industry on the Guidelines on the "Selection Procedures for the Assignment of Rights of Use for Planned Networks on Local Area Networks to Network Operators - DAB+". Ultimately, the step preceding the publication of the calls for applications for the allocation of rights of use to the consortia. As a result of this, the process of settling existing DAB consortia has intensified. In the past few days, for example, the mux on Rome of the Digital Radio Group consortium has been put into operation.

(NewsLinet) Read more


Guidelines for DAB tenders published
13.12.2022 - Italy Italy
The draft of the Guidelines for DAB tenders, i.e. the selection procedures for the assignment of rights of use for planned networks in local catchment areas to digital network operators for radio broadcasting, has been published by the Ministry of Enterprise and Industry. On the merits, the adoption of the Resolution, approved the "Provisional National Plan for the Assignment of the Frequencies in the VHF band - III for the DAB+ digital radio broadcasting service (PNAF-DAB)", thus creating the necessary prerequisite for the Ministry to proceed with the granting of the rights of use on the networks planned by AGCOM.

(NewsLinet) Read more


Rai study reflects on the future of radio and audio
09.12.2022 - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
Graham Dixon writes: "Occasionally, stepping back from bite-size reports that encourage quick decision-making and taking a broader view makes perfect sense, and that exactly is what Rai has done. The introduction of new devices and attendant innovation is accelerating at a bewildering pace. Specifically, Rai asks what the response of public media should be to this new “ecosystem” — questions that seem relevant to the whole radio/audio industry. The report first looks in detail at the Italian audio market, including the adoption of devices, the presence of the tech giants, the rise of podcasting and future perspectives. It then opens the window to the wider world to examine Europe and North America, drawing together the latest research from different sources. Finally, it looks at what this may mean for the Italian public service; naturally, those challenges are not unique."

(RedTech) Read more


Media DAB launches its first communication campaign
09.12.2022 - Media DAB S.C.A.R.L. WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
Media DAB, the Italian consortium of local radio stations and WorldDAB member, is carrying out an advertising campaign for the month of December to thank the more than 100 radio stations that have joined their consortium. Full colour pages will be published in the national daily newspaper 'Milano Finanza' (leader in financial and economic information) and banners in online broadcast periodicals including newslinet.it and fm-world.it.

(Media DAB) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 60.5 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 86%
Services: 136 DAB+, 7 Data
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 4,900,000 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 100%
Total Sales (cumulative): 8,095,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 10%
Last update: 28.06.2022

Useful Links

Legislation relating to digital radio DAB-T
www.dab.it
www.digitalradio.it
www.eurodabitalia.it
Rai
www.raiway.rai.it
www.ras.bz.it/de/radio-de/