Italy

Last update: 26-06-2018 - older versions

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

Official announcement of 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. Article 1 comma 1044 provides for all radios sold from 2020 to have digital capability (image attached). Budget law number 205 of the 27th of December 2017 was published on the Official Journal number 302 of the 29th of December 2017 entered into force on the 01/01/2018. 

RAI (public broadcaster) expands DAB+ offering

The Rai Board of Directors, at its meeting on 18 April 2018, approved the technical project for the extension of DAB+ which includes extension of coverage to most of Italy's motorways.

In June 2017 the new director of RAI Radio, Roberto Sergio, reinforced the Italian public broadcaster RAI’s commitment to DAB+ rollout in Italy by confirming the launch of five new stations, bringing the total number of RAI radio stations on DAB+ up to 10 (five simulcast and five digital only). Discover more here. Download a video which was shown at the press conference here.

Roadmap for DAB+

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. The majority of band III has to be reserved for DAB+. AGCOM also renewed commitment to putting forward legislation that receivers should have FM and digital capability.

The North-Italian region of South Tyrol started its FM switch-off in 2017.

Local Radio

Five consortia of local broadcasters are currently on air. Two consortia in Trento received the rights on Band III with Channel 10A assigned to DBTAA and Channel 12D to Digiloc. The rights to Channel 10B and 10D have been assigned to RAS and Channel 10C to DABMedia in Bolzano.

Last update: 22-02-2019 - older versions

Current Coverage

The combined coverage of the regular and trial broadcasts is estimated to be around 83% 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 assiocated 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 50 transmission site on-air, DAB Italia is offering the largest continuity of DAB signal from North to the South of the 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 10 programmes available exclusively on DAB+: 101 Urban, R24 +1, Capital Funky, Capital Music, RDS Relax, RMALB.IA (in Albanian), M2O dance, Kc1 test, Kc2 test and Kc3 test. In total 18 programmes are receivable from the Austrian border down to Naples and from Venice west to Turin on approximately 4.500 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.

 

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: 19-12-2017 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

In Italy there are three regular national (2 commercial and one public) and six regular local multiplexes on air. In total there are 116 DAB+ stations simulcast on FM and 20 DAB+ stations available exclusively on DAB+ digital radio. There are 7 data services. In addition, 2 TPEG networks are on air, provided by InfoBlu (EuroDAB Italia and RaiWay multiplexes).

All national broadcasters (public and private) as well as some local services offer Slideshow (SLS). Some services are static, meaning the images are not related to the content on air. Some larger stations have implemented some services with content connected to the audio services and with some real time information, for example, weather and stocks.

RTL 102.5, a commercial broadcaster, has sold digital campaigns with an SLS add-on, for example one of their customers was Nissan. In the campaign the advertiser said on air "you can see the car on the radio display" and listeners with SLS enabled DAB radios could see an image of the Nissan on their dashboard. More information on that campaign here.

National

Prior to the launch of digital radio in Italy there were just from 19 national radio stations available on FM. Following the launch of DAB+ there are now 40 national radio stations available on DAB+. 19 of the national stations are simulcasts of FM stations and 21 are stations available exclusively on DAB+.

Local

So far all digital stations available on the local multiplexes are simulcasts of FM stations. There are a total of 97 DAB+ programmes available: Rome = 16;  Naples = 13; Trento = 21;  Bolzano = 22+13;  Umbria = 12;  Torino-Cuneo = 11 (the frequency has been assigned but the services are not yet on air).

Pop Up Stations

From the 8 - 10 April 2016, IRF2016, a new dedicated DAB+ channel was on air live‎ for the International Radio Festival in Milan.

 

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

Last update: 09-04-2019 - older versions

As at June 2018:

  • 46% of new cars in Italy now come with DAB+ as standard, and most automotive brands now offer DAB+ as an option (up from 28% in Q2 2017).
  • TPEG Traffic and Travel services are operated by InfoBlu, the Italian leader in traffic management and TISA member. Two TPEG networks are on air for test purposes (Euro DAB Italia and Rai Way).
  • 92% of 1st level roads in Italy are covered by a DAB+ signal.

On 8 April 2019, Volkswagen announced that in Italy DAB+ will be supplied as standard across the whole range of Volkswagen vehicles, in line with European regulation (EECC) requiring all radios in new cars must be capable of receiving and reproducing digital terrestrial radio by end 2020.  

Last update: 21-03-2019 - older versions

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

Official announcement of 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. Article 1, 1044 provides for all radios sold from 2020 to have digital capability (image attached). Budget law number 205 of the 27th of December 2017 was published on the Official Journal number 302 of the 29th of December 2017 entered into force on the 01/01/2018.

DAB receivers widely available

DAB receivers for the home as well as car converters are widely available throughout Italy via retail outlets and online.

Last update: 18-04-2018 - older versions

Several trials have taken place in Italy over recent years.  

Last update: 06-03-2019 - older versions

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: 26-06-2018 - older versions

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 the 13 main national commercial FM networks (plus several local radio stations). 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 digitalradio…and you?
2017: the magic of digital radio DAB+ in your car!

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 many local radio stations. With more than 1,000 spots the campaigns have covered 23 million listeners.

2017 Campaign

The campaign in 2017 has over 500 spots a week. Four flights will take place in 2017.

Spot 1

Spot 2

Spot 3

The first 2017 flight was from 6-26 February 2017 for three weeks. The second 2017 flight was from 1-14 May 2017 for two weeks. The third 2017 flight aired from 1-27 August, 2017. The three spots may be heard at https://soundcloud.com/digitalradioit. The fourth flight took place 13 November to 3 December, 2017. The 2017 campaign is aired on FM by the 10 national commercial radio members of DAB Italia and EuroDAB, together, by using the same three radio spots or a minimum of 38 spots per week each radio (= 380 spots per week = 1.520 in the time frame). The campaign  hit approximately 30 million radio listeners in Italy per day.

 

May 2016

A new marketing campaign  launched in Italy from 23 May for three weeks to help promote digital radio. The advert was broadcast on both national and local commercial radio stations and coordinated marketing activities involve 12 national broadcasters. With more than 1,000 commercials the campaign had coverage of over 23 million listeners.

March 2015

A  marketing campain to promote digital radio ran in four phases with four new radio spots - a version voiced by Dj Albertino ran across the main national commercial FM broadcasters and several local radio stations. 

January 2014

In January 2014 DigitalRadio.it ran a national advertising campaign to inform consumers, retailers, car vendors, car dealers and all stakeholders of what digital radio is to make them aware that digital radio is coming. The campaign aired on the 10 main national commercial networks (plus several local radio stations) with 6 to 8 passages per day of a common 45 seconds spot. 

 

Offers and Promotions in the automotive sector 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italy welcomes new DAB+ multiplex in Umbria
18.04.2019 - Italy - Italy
Local broadcasters have switched on a new DAB+ multiplexer in the Umbria region of Italy. Members of the Aeranti-Corallo association of local radio and TV broadcasters activated the new MUX, “Radiofonia locale digitale Umbria,” which transmits on the 10C block. This latest local digital radio MUX, which is located in Colle della Trinità, carries content from stations including Max Radio Classic; Radio Blu; Radio Galileo; Radio Studio Delta; and Simply Radio.
From Radio World:

Volkswagen and Skoda to include DAB+ radio in cars as standard in all cars sold in Italy
09.04.2019 - Italy - Italy
The automobile manufacturer has announced that all new Volkswagen and Skoda cars released in Italy will now include DAB+ digital radio as standard at no extra cost. As of 1 January 2020, all new cars sold in Italy are required to be equipped with DAB+ digital radio capabilities.
From digitalradio.it:

Bcast to provide Italian operator Prais with DAB+ solutions
21.03.2019 - Italy - Italy
According to the agreement, Polish company Bcast will provide Prais and the Digital Radio Group consortium with DABCAST, a technology solution that enables broadcasters to create a radio signal in DAB+ while keeping costs relatively low.
From Wirtualnemedia:

Italy journey to digitisation boosted with launch of popular stations on DAB+
WorldDAB Members News - 15.03.2019 - EuroDab Italia - Italy - Italy
Italy's most listened to radio station RTL 102.5 has been added to EuroDAB Italia's national multiplex, alongside new stations RTL News Salute, RTL Rewind and Subasio XL. The national multiplex, which has been operating since 2001, is currently available for approximately 80% of the Italian population.
From Radio Speaker:

All Italian national broadcasters on DAB+
19.02.2019 - Italy - Italy
Virgin Radio and Radio Monte Carlo (RMC) will now be broadcast on DAB+ by the Italian network operator EuroDAB Italia - which has been operating since 2001 and now covers approximately 80% of the Italian population - meaning all national broadcasters available on analogue radio will now be available on DAB+.
From Prima Online:

All new cars in Europe soon to be equipped with DAB+
11.02.2019 - Italy - Italy
The European Code of Electronic Communications entered into force on 20 December 2018, meaning EU Member States have two years have to incorporate the code into their national legislation. Italy is the first country to have applied the European directive in advance - as of 1 June 2019, wholesalers, retailers and automotive brands will be required to sell receivers with at least one digital interface to receive digital broadcasts, while all domestic and automotive receivers sold after 1 January 2020 will be required to include digital audio capabilities.
From Digital Radio:

All national radios now on DAB+
05.02.2019 - Italy - Italy
Virgin Radio and Radio Monte Carlo (RMC) are now nationally broadcasted by the national DAB service provider EuroDABItalia, which covers 75% of Italian population. With the 3 national multiplexes on air - Rai Way, DAB Italia and Eurodab - all public and commercial national broadcasters are now on air in DAB+.
From Newslinet:

DAB+ radio - the digital revolution Italy has been waiting for
30.01.2019 - Italy - Italy
This article gives a detailed overview of DAB+ in Europe, with particular focus on the development of digital radio in Italy. It highlights some of the challenges and opportunities presented by DAB+, as well as emphasising the Italian receiver law that will require all receivers sold starting from 2020 to include built-in DAB+ capabilities.
From Ci Siamo:

RAI expands DAB+ coverage in Northern Italy
WorldDAB Members News - 17.01.2019 - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana - Italy - Italy
Italian public broadcaster RAI continues to expand DAB+ coverage in the country, having just switched on a number of transmitters in the northern part of the country. National coverage has now risen to 49%, and is expected to reach 57% by the end of the year.
From Dday.it:

RAI accelerates digital radio growth in Italy with new transmitters
15.01.2019 - Italy - Italy
RAI switched on 8 new transmitters at the end of 2018, bringing the total number of DAB+ transmitters operated by the public broadcaster in the country to 33, with the total national coverage in Italy now standing at 49%.

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 60.6 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 80%
Services: 136 DAB+, 7 Data
Line-fit automotive sales (cumulative): 2,101,233 devices
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 46%
Total Sales (cumulative): 3,700,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 4%
Last update: 30.10.2018

Useful Links

Legislation relating to digital radio DAB-T
www.dab.it
Digital Broadcasting Trentino Alto Adige
www.digitalradio.it
www.eurodabitalia.it
Rai
www.raiway.rai.it
www.ras.bz.it/de/tv_radio/dab.htm