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”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting the sound right with digital broadcasting
20.02.2015 - Italy Italy
Supporters of any digital radio broadcasting standard commonly claim that digital radio enables listeners to enjoy a superior sound quality. To achieve this however broadcasters need to deploy a proper configuration of the signal chain. If it is poorly designed, digital broadcasting sound can become noticeably worse than a corresponding analogue broadcast.

(Radio World) Read more


New service RDS Relax launches on DAB+
17.02.2015 - Italy Italy
Now you can listen to the largest and most exciting hits of the 80s, 90s and today ... on DAB.

(Digital Radio Italy) Read more


Autoradio Telefunken
16.02.2015 - Italy Italy
After the acquisition of the majority of Telefunken Autotainment, Calearo Group, an Italian company, announce that it will be the exclusive distributor of quality products including the TFA-ES7130 DAB car radio.

(Digital Radio Italy) Read more


Vatican Radio looks to Europe's digital radio future
14.02.2015 - EuroDab Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
Father Federico Lombardi, Director of Vatican Radio, commented that Vatican Radio covers a wide range of issues, with an emphasis on peace, religious freedom, human rights, dialogue between religions and Christian denominations." Eugenio La Teana, head of research and development at RTL 102.5 Hit Radio added: "DAB/DAB+ digital radio is progressing in Italy, as well as across Europe. There is now a clear path towards digitisation of radio at the European level".

(Radio Vaticana) Read more


Digital radio ready to take off
05.02.2015 - Italy Italy
In Trentino-Alto Adige, outside coverage reaches 98% of the population and Bolzano can receive ninety programs. In Trento, 20% of households now have a digital receiver. Around 160 car models come with DAB digital radio as standard.

(Il Sole 24 Ore ) Read more


Fabrizio Guidi, the gentleman who built the future
02.02.2015 - DAB Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
The radio industry mourns the passing of Fabrizio Guidi, President of Club DAB Italia.

(Il Sore 24 Ore) Read more


First DAB+ clock radio from Panasonic arrives in Italy
19.01.2015 - Italy Italy
The Panasonic D10 DAB+ clock radio is now widely available in Italy promising high quality sound and large LCD screen.

(Digital Radio Italy) Read more


AGCOM lays out plans for extension of DAB+ in Italy
30.12.2014 - DAB Italia WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
AGCOM, the Italian Media regulator, has published preliminary plans for the deployment of DAB+ national and regional networks throughout the country. The initial plans cover the Italian provinces of Turin, Cuneo, Aosta Valley, and Umbria. In those 4 areas, stations will all be heard on the same channels: for public broadcaster RAI, it will be 12B; for Euro DAB, it will be 12A; for Club DAB, it will be 12C.

(Radio.NL ) Read more


Fr Federico Lombardi addresses the 20th WorldDMB General Assembly
10.11.2014 - Italy Italy
At the 20th WorldDMB General Assembly in Rome, Fr Federico Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See Press Office spoke of his hopes to use DAB digital radio to extend the coverage of Radio Vaticana beyond Rome. Speaking to the audience, Lombardi said, "...it has become possible for us to extend coverage to most of the Italian territory... This is of course facilitated by the possibility of transmission multiplexing unlike in the past. We hope that rollout of the DAB technology continues to grow in many countries."

(Radio Vaticana) Read more


"Digital Radio enhances our mission"
07.11.2014 - WorldDAB News - Italy Italy - Holy See (Vatican City State) Holy See (Vatican City State)
In his address to a global audience of digital radio industry delegates at the WorldDMB General Assembly in Rome, Father Federico Lombardi, Director General of Vatican Radio described the importance of digital radio broadcasting in the enhancement of Vatican Radio services. Father Federico highlighted the benefits of digital audio broadcasting of "quality signal, of low energy consumption and with a considerable number of possibilities of programs to be broadcast... which allows us to extend our programs - not only on the area of Rome, but also nationally."

(Radio Vaticana) Read more


Select Country:

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/