Last update: 18.10.2019 - older versions
According to a survey conducted by GfK and DAB Italia in September 2019, 4.5 million Italians own a DAB+ receiver - approximately one million more than in June 2018 - while over 12 million people in Italy are familiar with DAB+ digital radio.
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: 14.04.2020 - older versions
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).
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.
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
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
- Implementation considerations for the introduction and transition to digital terrestrial sound and multimedia broadcasting http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REP-BT.2386-2015 (pages 129-138)
- Digital terrestrial broadcasting: Design and implementation of single frequency networks (SFN) http://www.itu.int/pub/R-REP-BS.2384 (Attachment 1 to Annex 3)
Last update: 19.12.2017 - older versions
In this country there are
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.
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+.
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|
Last update: 05.05.2020 - older versions
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 are not factory-fitted with a DAB+ receiver can only be sold up to 21 December 2020.
Last update: 18.10.2019 - 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.
According to a survey conducted by GfK and DAB Italia in September 2019, 4.5 million Italians own a DAB+ receiver - approximately one million more than in June 2018.
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.
The campaign in 2017 has over 500 spots a week. Four flights will take place in 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
SNIC research examines the behaviour of single frequency networks in cars28.05.2020 - - Italy
(WorldDAB) Read more
Sergio Roberto reiterates RAI's commitment to DAB+26.05.2020 - Italy
(Il Tempo) Read more
A look inside Italy's digital radio rollout03.03.2020 - Italy
(Radio World) Read more
AGCOM launches new call for tender for national DAB stations10.02.2020 - Italy
(Newslinet.it) Read more
Further expansion of national DAB+ network in Italy23.01.2020 - DAB Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy
(DAB Italia) Read more
Italy gears up for implementation of EECC22.01.2020 - Italy
(Corriere Comunicazioni) Read more
New development plan for DAB Italia's digital radio network17.01.2020 - DAB Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy
(DAB Italia) Read more
Agcom imposes equitable frequency allocation for Italian radio05.12.2019 - Italy
(dab.it) Read more
Agcom to publish DAB+ frequency allocations by end of 201923.10.2019 - Italy
(Fm-world.it) Read more
EuroDAB Italia begins airing BBC World Service17.10.2019 - EuroDab Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy
(Radio World) Read more
|Services:||136 DAB+, 7 Data|
|New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard:||46%|
|Total Sales (cumulative):||4,500,000 devices|
|Penetration by household:||4%|
Last update: 18.02.2020
Useful LinksLegislation relating to digital radio DAB-T