Italy

Last update: 03.08.2023 - older versions

In June 2023, the Ministry of Enterprise and Industry - Directorate-General for Electronic Communication, Broadcasting and Postal Services (DGSCERP), launched a procedure for the assignment to network operators of rights of use of frequencies for the terrestrial digital radio broadcasting service, referred to in the NAPF-DAB, relating to the catchment areas No 8 Emilia Romagna - No 11 Marche - No 12 Lazio - No 20 Sardinia. It has since indicated that it expects to tender for further regions at the end of August 2023 (Piedmont; Valle d'Aosta; Lombardy; Liguria; Tuscany; Umbria; Campania; Sicily.)

In April 2023, the adoption of Resolution no. 286/22/CONS of AGCOM approved the "Provisional National Plan for the Allocation of Frequencies in the VHF band - III for the DAB+ Digital Audio Broadcasting Service (PNAF-DAB)", thus allowing the Ministry to proceed with the granting of the rights of use on the networks planned by AGCOM. The Ministry has published the summary of the national public consultation, carried out on the version of the guidelines published on 13.12.2022, with the Ministry's evaluations and the final text of the guidelines relating to the criteria and methods that will be adopted to proceed with the assignment of rights of use to local network operators for the terrestrial digital radio broadcasting service.

Press release: Guidelines on selection procedures

 

DAB frequency plan approved

In July 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: 07.06.2023 - older versions

Current Coverage

The combined coverage of the regular and trial broadcasts is estimated to be around 88% 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 87% of the population with over 160 broadcast sites. On-air programmes include 10 simulcast FM programmes: #RTL 102.5, #Radiofreccia, #Radio Zeta, Virgin Radio, 105, RMC, Radio Italia SMI, Radio KissKiss, RVaticana Ita +, inBlu 2000 and 10 programmes broadcast exclusively on DAB+: #RTL 102.5 Best, #RTL 102.5 News, #RTL 102.5 Bro & Sis, #RTL 102.5 Romeo & Juliet, #RTL 102.5 Napulè, #RTL 102.5 Doc, RadioItaliaTrend, Radio Freedom, Subasio XL, BBC WorldService. 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 21 137
Data services 0 7 7
Total11628144

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”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian national DAB+ network no. 3 assigned to Eurodab Italia
21.05.2024 - EuroDab Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
On 21 May, the Italian Ministry of Enterprise and Industry published the results of the assignment procedure for the right of use of the national DAB+ No. 3 network, pursuant to AGCOM Resolution 286/22/CONS. The assignee is the current exerciser of the previously granted right of use, Eurodab Italia. The ball is in the middle, therefore, as we return to the first assignments of last year: to DAB Italia the DAB+ n.2 network, to Eurodab Italia the DAB+ n.3 network and to RAI the DAB+ n.1 network. This is in any case an interesting precedent for future competitive local calls for tenders, considering that the one concluded is the first beauty contest of its kind.

(NL NewsLinet) Read more


Local DAB+ expressions of interest for Piedmont, Lazio and Campania published
09.05.2024 - Italy Italy
On 8 May 2024, the DGTEL of the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy (MIMIT) published on the Ministry's website the list of expressions of interest received by the Ministry of consortium companies admitted to the procedures for the assignment of rights of use of frequencies for the terrestrial digital radio broadcasting service, as per the PNAF-DAB for the following catchment areas: no. 01 - Piedmont; no. 12 - Lazio and no. 15 - Campania.

(AERANTI-CORALLO) Read more


RAS receives definitive broadcasting authorisation for DAB+ digital radio
18.04.2024 - Italy Italy
After many years of planning and negotiations, RAS received the final allocation of the two transmission blocks 10B and 10D for the broadcasting of DAB+ digital radio programmes in South Tyrol from the Ministry. RAS has been waiting a long time for these licences. Until now, the Ministry had only issued provisional licences. Thanks to the good cooperation with the Communications Guarantee Authority AGCOM and the Ministry, two DAB blocks were made available for the public broadcasting service of the province of South Tyrol RAS in the final frequency planning for 2022. With the final allocation of frequencies, RAS now has long-term planning security and can guarantee the service for the next 20 years.

(Radiotelevisione Azienda Speciale della Provincia di Bolzano) Read more


First local DAB+ usage rights awarded in Italy
15.04.2024 - Italy Italy
As of 15 April 2024, the Ministry assigned the first definitive rights of use for planned networks in the local catchment areas to DAB+ network operators in implementation of the Provisional National Plan for the Allocation of Frequencies in the VHF-III Band (PNAF-DAB). Thus began, on the day that celebrates the first national Made in Italy day, a new phase for the digital radio sector that is sure to offer new impetus to the entire sector. The regions involved for the time being are Emilia Romagna, Marche, Sardinia, and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.

(Ministero delle Imprese e del Made in Italy) Read more


First rights of use assigned to DAB+ local network operators
12.04.2024 - Italy Italy
The Ministry of Business and Made in Italy (MIMIT) has awarded Digital Radio Group Scarl Consortium usage rights for local DAB+ network operations. This assignment represents a significant step in local broadcasting, and is a prelude to the assignment of remaining areas, filling the gap between national and local operators.

(Digital Radio Group Scarl) Read more


Expressions of interest for local DAB+ published for Valle D'Aosta, Liguria, Tuscany
04.04.2024 - Italy Italy
On 3 April 2024, the DGTEL of the Ministry of Enterprise and Made in Italy (MIMIT) published on the Ministry's website the list of expressions of interest received by the same Ministry of consortium companies admitted to the procedures for the assignment of the rights to use frequencies for the terrestrial digital radio broadcasting service referred to in the PNAF-DAB for the following catchment areas: no. 02 - Valle D'Aosta; no. 07 - Liguria; no. 09 - Tuscany.

(AERANTI-CORALLO) Read more


Abruzzo DAB+ consortium launches
20.03.2024 - Italy Italy
DAB+ transmissions, on channel 7B, of the 17 broadcasters scattered throughout the Abruzzo region began on 11 March. In fact, a repeater covering the entire Abruzzo coastline and part of the interior has been activated. "We had been waiting for the authorisation for the activation of our first repeater for some time," says Giovanni Fimiani, president of the consortium. "Our consortium represents the historic radio stations of the Abruzzo region, the pioneers of the FM airwaves, and the three largest in the Mezzogiorno, with a net worth of all consortium members of around EUR 5 million.

(Il Pescara) Read more


Aeranti-Corallo: "Ten-year exemption from DAB+ administrative fees"
15.03.2024 - Italy Italy
On 13 March 2024, the Joint Committees VII (Culture, Science and Education) and IX (Transport, Posts and Telecommunications) of the Chamber of Deputies invited the Government to consider the advisability of extending from 5 to 10 years the exemption of the payment of the administrative fees of the contributions for the use of DAB+ radio frequencies, as well as to provide for the starting date of such exemption from the actual beginning of the use of the frequencies and not from the date of issuance of the notices for the relevant assignment. Aeranti-Corallo takes a very positive view of this indication, as it incorporates its own proposals in this regard made at the hearing on 23 January.

(Aeranti-Corallo) Read more


DRG DAB Consortium extends its coverage in Lombardy
15.03.2024 - Italy Italy
With the activation of the Brescia transmitter, the coverage of the multi-regional DRG DAB Consortium in Lombardy gets extended. The Brescia transmitter from the Vedetta site was switched on. This transmitter operates, like the one recently activated in Milan, on channel 9C on the 206.352 Mhz frequency with service in Brescia and provinces, in adding with the Bergamo transmitter, soon to be activated, road coverage up to Milan will also be completed.

(Digital Radio Group Scarl) Read more


Gamma Radio connected to Turin on DAB+
08.03.2024 - Italy Italy
Gamma Radio is once again expanding its signal. The historic Milanese broadcaster, now part of the Radio Number One group, arrived in Turin on DAB+ a few days ago. It can be heard on the CrDab mux, channel 10D. In Lombardy, Gamma Radio broadcasts in FM, and on digital, it is present in the same mux (CrDab), channel 6A. Returning to Piedmont, CrDab has been hosting the local ToRadio for a few days.

(FM-world) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 60.5 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 88%
Services: 137 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 13%
Last update: 05.03.2024

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/