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”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now is the time for digital radio in cars
23.05.2014 - Italy Italy
In Italy, Digital Radio is now a reality. Now is the time of DAB+ Digital Audio Broadcasting, the new digital radio transmission system that makes it sound perfect because it removes the interference, increases the content, the amount of information and channels theme , and "thinks" the environment as it reduces the emission power of the signals in the area.

(Autoappassionati) Read more


Calearo Introduces "Smart" Interface for After-Market DAB+ Converters
22.05.2014 - Italy Italy
DAB+ radio is now available in Italy, and the Italian company Calearo sees its potential. The Tier 1 supplier to some of the largest automobile OEMs in Europe has already developed several DAB+ solutions for its customers Volkswagen, Renault, Nissan and others.

(Radio Magazine) Read more


A new digital radio channel, DAB only is now on air by Gruppo Epresso
06.05.2014 - Italy Italy
A new digital radio channel, DAB only is now on air by Gruppo Espresso. R.Capital Music (Radio Capital Music), the new DAB only channel has been added to ClubDabItalia National Mux and are today 6 the Only Digital channels in the MUX covering 65% of Italian territory. More info about coverage and contents at www.digitalradio.it

(Prima Online) Read more


New communication campaign on DAB+ launched in Italy
04.04.2014 - Italy Italy
A marketing campaign to promote DAB+ has been launched in Italy. More information can be found on the DigitalRadio Italy website.

(DigitalRadio Italy) Read more


WorldDMB and FGA Collaborate for DAB+ in Italy
18.02.2014 - Italy Italy
Fiat Group Automobiles hosted a meeting of WorldDMB and Italian digital radio industry representatives at the beginning of February. The meeting featured a presentation of the status of digital radio from WorldDMB President Patrick Hannon, as well as updates from Digital Radio UK, Digital Radio Deutschland, Germany, and a combined presentation from Digital Radio Italy (Club DAB Italia, Euro Dab Italia), as well as chip manufacturer NXP and RaiWay, the technical division of RAI public broadcaster.

(Radio World) Read more


WorldDMB and FGA work together on digital radio development
13.02.2014 - WorldDAB News - Italy Italy
On Thursday 6th February FGA (Fiat Group Automobiles) hosted a successful meeting of WorldDMB and Italian digital radio industry representatives. The event was an opportunity for WorldDMB and FGA to discuss common goals and provided a platform for WorldDMB to build a relationship with one of the fastest growing automotive brands offering digital radio in-car.

Read more


Fiat 500L now with DAB+ in Italy
13.02.2014 - Italy Italy
Fiat is now offering digital radio in its 500L range with DAB+ being available for €110 in all of its models. Dab+ is also included in some special editions.

(Fiat ) Read more


Positive perspectives for digital radio in South Tiro
24.01.2014 - Italy Italy
The public radio and television agency for the autonomous Province of Bozen RAS has switched on 4 new DAB-transmitters and radiostations in South Tirol. In the main area Bozen 52 programs are now on air – in the south even more than 70. There are plans to develop 10 new sites during 2014.

(www.bayerndigitalradio.de) Read more


Italian campaign to promote digital radio is launched
20.01.2014 - Italy Italy
The first series of television and radio commercials to promote digital radio in Italy has been launched. The campaign will take place over three weeks from January 13 to February 2.

(PubblicitaItalia) Read more


Positive prospects for digital radio in South Tyrol
20.01.2014 - Italy Italy
The Rundfunk-Anstalt Südtirol RAS has launched four new DAB stations and an additional radio station in South Tyrol. In Greater Bolzano consumers can now tune into 52 radio programs and even more than 70 digital radio stations are now available in the south of South Tyrol. During 2014 there are plans to continue the expansion of ten new sites. Furthermore, local radio operators are planning a nationwide expansion next year.

(www.provinz.bz.it) 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/