Italy

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

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: 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.

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”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unica Radio becomes first university radio in Italy to broadcast in DAB+
12.12.2018 - Italy Italy
Cagliari's university radio is now available on DAB+ following an agreement with the DigitalRadio Group consortium, marking the first time a university radio in Italy broadcasts on DAB+.

(SH Mag ) Read more


Italy switches off more FM stations as South Tyrol turns to DAB+
11.12.2018 - Italy Italy
22 FM stations are being shut down in no fewer than seven locations across South Tyrol, a region in which DAB+ has already surpassed FM, with DAB+ population coverage standing at 99.6%.

(Radiovisie) Read more


RAS expands DAB+ network in South Tyrol
10.12.2018 - Italy Italy
Following the expansion of the DAB+ broadcasting networks in Sulden and Pfelders, 99.6% of the Alto Adige population is served by 22 digital radio stations, while 95% of the population has access to 35 DAB+ stations.The RAS has also announced the shutdown of 22 low-power FM transmitters in the region.

(Newslinet) Read more


RAS expands DAB+ network in South Tyrol
05.12.2018 - Italy Italy
The Rundfunkanstalt Südtirol further expands its DAB+ network in South Tyrol as transmitters in Sulden and Pfelders are put into operation. 35 digital radio programs are now available to 95 percent of the South Tyrol population, as the RAS continues to switch off FM transmitters and expand its digital network.

(Der Vinschger) Read more


Further down the road – Italy
03.12.2018 - WorldDAB News - Italy Italy
The rollout of DAB+ continues to gain ground across Europe, and the introduction of the new EU directive comes as no surprise to the majority of EU member states including Italy, which has been one step ahead of the curve – and its European counterparts – having previously introduced its own regulations to reflect the growing need for DAB+ in cars. Read about Italy’s seamless transition to DAB+ in the car.

(WorldDAB) Read more


In-car radio the focus of conference in Rome
14.11.2018 - Jaguar Land Rover Limited WorldDAB Member - General Motors LLC WorldDAB Member - AUDI AG WorldDAB Member - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
Representatives from the major automotive brands will gather in Rome on 15 November for a conference to determine the future integration of DAB+ digital radio in the car. Hosted by Italian broadcaster Rai, the day will be the first time that a day has been dedicated to discussing the future of car radio.

(Business People) Read more


RAI organises digital radio conference
30.10.2018 - Italy Italy
A digital radio conference has been organised by Italian broadcaster RAI on 15 November in Rome. Entitled "Once upon a time the car radio", the conference is dedicated to the appeal of mobility of in-car digital listening, and will feature a roundtable discussion with car manufacturers, as well as another discussion held between content operators.

(Newslinet) Read more


PRAIS announces cooperation with BCAST
29.10.2018 - PRAIS S.r.l. WorldDAB Member - BCAST WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
In October 2018, the Italian service provider PRAIS announced cooperation with its Polish counterpart BCAST. The purpose of the cooperation is to provide to Italian broadcasters a possibility to create high quality DAB+ services at lower cost. The effectiveness of cooperation was confirmed during the launch of the first two multiplexes of DAB+ radio in Sardinia

(PRAIS) Read more


New automotive digital receiver regulations published in Italy
17.10.2018 - DAB Italia WorldDAB Member - EuroDab Italia WorldDAB Member - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana WorldDAB Member - Italy Italy
New technical guidelines have been announced in Italy to define minimum acceptable audio quality for drivers. The new regulations will take effect from 1 June next year, with further regulations requiring all new cars to be line-fit with DAB+ receivers by 1 January 2020.

(DAB Italia) Read more


New DAB+ receiver launched in South Tyrol
12.10.2018 - Italy Italy
In the southern Tyrolean village of Pfelders (Plan) in northern Italy, a new DAB+ digital radio transceiver has been launched, broadcasting more German-speaking programmes across the region.

(Český rozhlas) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 60.5 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 84%
Services: 136 DAB+, 7 Data
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 46%
Total Sales (cumulative): 4,500,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 4%
Last update: 18.02.2020

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/