Spain

Last update: 18.09.2020 - older versions

Political parties urge Spanish government to take action on DAB+

In July 2020, Spain's Izquierda Confederal parliamentary group - made up of various political group from across Spain - presented before the Senate a proposal for the introduction of a law to urgently address the promotion and development of terrestrial digital radio broadcasting. The proposal was not objected by any parties,  and is expected to be debated at a Plenary sitting.

First signs of DAB+ in Spain

Spain first began broadcasting terrestrial digital radio in April 1998 covering Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. From 2002 to June 2011, 23 transmitters covered the 52% of the Spanish population through three national multiplexes (1 SFN and 2 MFN). In addition, DAB services in Catalonia were launched on one additional regional multiplex, but they were then switched off.

The Council of Ministers reached an agreement on Digital Radio in June 2011 and approved a Digitization Plan for Terrestrial Broadcasting with the following measures:

  • Reduction of DAB coverage from 52% to 20%, in order to facilitate a migration to DAB+
  • Flexibility for the broadcasters, in order to allow for migration to DAB+ 
  • Study of a possible reassignment of the multiplexes 
  • Promotional activities through the Spanish DAB Forum 
  • DAB+ trials 
  • A study of the necessary conditions to determine the date of  a possible analogue switch off

Despite the measures approved, the only one carried out was the reduction of DAB coverage from 52% to 20%. There was no DAB+ migration and today, the original three national multiplexes are transmitting DAB services in the metropolitan areas of Madrid and Barcelona, covering a 20% of the Spanish population. The only standard allowed by law for regular broadcasts continues to be DAB, although there is a DAB+ program transmitted on trials.

Regional DAB+

In January 2020, the regional government in Navarra advertised capacity for six DAB services on a future ensemble for the region, designated FU-Nav. Simultaneously, the regional government advertised a total of 72 DAB licences across 12 ensembles, each of which will have local coverage.

Last update: 10.07.2015 - older versions

Due to the enforcement of the Digitalization Plan for Terrestrial Broadcasting, DAB services are on air only in Madrid and Barcelona including their metropolitan areas, covering 20% of the Spanish population.

The migration from DAB to DAB+ has not been carried out.

Last update: 03.03.2021 - 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.

A total of 18 DAB and 1 DAB+ audio services are on air, but enhanced features as text, images or programme guides are not available.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB programmes 18 0 18
DAB+ programmes 1 0 1
Total19019

Last update: 10.07.2015 - older versions

Some manufacturers (mainly premium) offer DAB/DAB+ receivers as an OEM extra.

Manufacturer Model Type Price (euros)
Mercedes-Benz E Class DAB/DAB+/DMB receiver 505.78
BMW 5 Series DAB receiver 451.32
Mini All DAB receiver N/A
Audi A6 DAB receiver 475
Porsche 911 DAB receiver 543
Wolkswagen Passat DAB/DAB+ receiver 220
Seat León DAB receiver 200

Last update: 15.06.2016 - older versions

There are a few DAB receivers available with some retailers.  Since DAB digital radio is not being promoted to the consumer at this time, digital radio receiver sales are not being measured and are presumed to be virtually non-existent.

Mobile Phones

The world's first smartphone with DAB/DAB+ digital radio built in, is available in Spain. More information available here.

Last update: 21.10.2019 - older versions

Spanish Broadcaster Radio Maria (http://www.radiomaria.es/) started DAB+ test transmissions in Madrid and Barcelona on 2014 December 30th.

This is the first time DAB+ has been used for radio broadcasting in Spain. This DAB/DAB+ network is operated by the Broadcast Network Operator Cellnex Telecom.

Last update: 04.09.2020 - older versions

The Spanish DAB Association comprising of both national private and public broadcasters are responsible for DAB/DAB+ regulation in Spain.

National station licenses are issued by the central government, while local and regional licenses are the responsibility of the regional government. Licenses are valid for 10 years with an automatic renewal for a further 10 years and operators must commit to the promotion of DAB digital radio. Advertising and sponsorship are permitted under the same rules which exist for analogue radio, and data is permitted on up to 20% of multiplex capacity.

Digital terrestrial broadcasting is allowed by law in Band III

There are three layers of services set out by law:

  • National, with 1 SFN multiplex and 2 MFN multiplexes
  • Regional (Comunidad Autónoma basis), with 1/3 SFN multiplex (nowadays without transmissions) and 2/3 MFN multiplex (not implemented)
  • Local, with 237 areas covered by different frequency blocks in Band III

Nowadays, due to the entry into force of the Digitalization Plan for Terrestrial Broadcasting, DAB services are on air only in Madrid and Barcelona including their metropolitan areas. The DAB services have a bit rate of 160 kbps, with the exception of Radio Nacional (192 kbps), Radio 3 (192 kbps), Radio 5 (192 kbps) and Radio Clasica (224 kbps).


Political parties urge Spanish government to take action on DAB+

In September 2020, Spain's Izquierda Confederal parliamentary group - made up of various political group from across Spain - presented before the Senate a proposal for the introduction of a law to urgently address the promotion and development of terrestrial digital radio broadcasting.

The dangers of not digitising FM in Spain
03.06.2021 - Spain Spain
Third parties can remove content from a radio station unilaterally and without justification. No radio broadcaster anywhere in the world wants to use 5G broadcast and no internet operator has expressed their willingness to open that line of business. Because there is neither use case nor business case.

(Gorkazumeta.com) Read more


Coast FM launches on DAB in the Canary Islands
30.04.2021 - Spain Spain
Despite any clear regulation in place in regards to the broadcast of DAB in Spain, Coast FM has become the first radio network in the Canary Islands to broadcast on DAB digital radio.

(Gorka Zumeta) Read more


Spain urged to develop digital radio plan by Compromís
30.04.2021 - Spain Spain
Spain's Compromís parliamentary group is urging the Spanish government to urgently address the promotion and rollout of DAB+ digital radio broadcasting.

(Tercera Informacion) Read more


Spanish political party seeks DAB+ rollout fund
15.01.2021 - Spain Spain
Carles Mulet, senator of Valencian political party Compromís has requested that part of the funds secured as part of Next Generation EU - a recovery fund aimed at supporting EU member states hit by the COVID-19 pandemic - be used to facilitate the rollout of DAB+ in Spain.

(Compromís) Read more


Spain's digital radio proposal to be debated at Plenary sitting
29.10.2020 - Spain Spain
The new proposed law put forward by political party Compromís - which aims to enable the development of DAB+ digital radio in Spain in line with the rest of Europe - will now be debated at a Plenary sitting on Tuesday 3 November.

(Compromís) Read more


Spain's digital radio proposal passes without objections
18.09.2020 - Spain Spain
The new proposed law put forward by political party Compromís - which aims to enable the development of DAB+ digital radio in Spain in line with the rest of Europe - did not gather any objections following its consultation. The proposal will now be debated at a Plenary sitting.

(Compromís) Read more


Spain to implement EECC regulation into national legislation
11.09.2020 - Spain Spain
According to the latest draft for Spain's Telecoms Regulation, starting from 21 December 2020, all car radio receivers that are built into new class M vehicles in Spain will be required to include digital terrestrial broadcasting capabilities.

( 57/5000 Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation) Read more


Spain urged to develop digital radio plan by Izquierda Confederal
04.09.2020 - Spain Spain
Spain's Izquierda Confederal parliamentary group has presented before the Senate a Proposal to introduce a Law to urgently address the promotion and development of terrestrial digital radio broadcasting.

(Panorama Audiovisual) Read more


Spanish law proposal for introduction of urgent digital radio measures begins its processing soon
01.09.2020 - Spain Spain
The initiative, promoted by the party Compromís, is in the Senate in the amendment period until September 17. The concrete measures are expected to be discussed later in the Committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

(Gorka Zumeta) Read more


DAB+ now the dominant standard in Europe says RTVE's Javier Sánchez
02.07.2020 - Spain Spain
According to Javier Sánchez, part of the innovation team of Spain's public broadcaster RTVE, DAB+ is already established as the new dominant standard for radio in Europe, and it's now time for Spain to catch up with its European counterparts.

(Gorka Zumeta) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 46.4 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 20%
Services: 18 DAB, 1 DAB+
Last update: 10.07.2015

Useful Links

www.minetur.gob.es/telecomunicaciones/Espectro/RadioTV/RD/Paginas/RD.aspx
Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism
rtve
Cellnex Telcom