Last update: 13.01.2020 - older versions

The Spanish DAB Association (Asociación Foro de la Radio Digital), comprising both national private and public broadcasters, is responsible for DAB/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, in some Comunidades Autónomas, DAB services were launched on additional regional multiplexes, but  they are currently switched off.

The Council of Ministers reached an agreement on Digital Radio in June 2011 and approved a Digitalisation 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

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: 10.07.2015 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

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

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 ( 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: 10.07.2015 - 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).

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

Spanish government set to debate legislation to implement DAB+
02.07.2020 - Top story - Spain Spain
Political party Compromís has put forward a motion for a debate on their proposal to the Senate for urgent legislation to digitise broadcast digital radio.

( Read more

New proposal aimed at developing DAB+ in Spain presented before the Senate
02.07.2020 - Spain Spain
The proposal, which is aimed at driving the development of DAB+ digital radio, calls on the government to draw out a plan promoting the implementation of DAB+ in Spain. Presented before the senate, the proposal is set to be reviewed by the Committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

( Read more

Spain's autonomous governments await court rulings on digital radio
21.02.2020 - Spain Spain
Companies interested in rolling out DAB+ digital radio in Spain have called on regional governments to launch calls for tenders for DAB+ licences. 17 autonomous regions are currently concerned - in four of those (Asturias, Navarra, La Rioja and Madrid) the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a call for tenders, while in the Basque Country and the Canary Islands, the decision has ruled against it.

(Valencia Plaza) Read more

Court ruling to determine fate of digital radio in Valencia
20.02.2020 - Spain Spain
The autonomous government of Valencia may be required to launch a call for tenders for digital radio services in the region, should the ruling of the Valencian Superior Court of Justice rule in favour of Mirendica - a legal consultancy firm soliciting the launch of digital radio in the autonomous region.

(Valencia Plaza) Read more

Seventh DAB multiplex on air in Spain
04.02.2020 - Spain Spain
Digital transmissions on DAB waveband, channel 9C, started in Tenerife in December 2019. The transmitter is located on the Teide, the highest active volcano in the Atlantic ocean and also the highest mountain in Spain (3.718 m). In total there are nine programmes transmitted on the multiplex.

(Radio Reporter) Read more

DAB+ at home and in the car
21.01.2020 - Spain Spain
This article outlines the specifications of DAB radio, touching on the technology's various benefits for listeners and broadcasters, and Germany's recent introduction of regulation mandating DAB+ radio in cars and certain types of consumer receivers.

(El digital de Asturias) Read more

Navarra government launches call for tenders for new regional multiplex
09.01.2020 - Spain Spain
The regional government in Navarra, Spain, has advertised capacity for six DAB services on a future ensemble for the region, designated FU-Nav. Simultaneously, the government has advertised a total of 72 DAB licences across 12 ensembles, each of which will have local coverage.

(Pamplona Actual) Read more

Bcast brings DAB+ to Tenerife
22.12.2019 - Spain Spain
A new DAB+ multiplex operated by Polish broadcast operator Bcast has launched on the Spanish island of Tenerife, in the Canary islands. The multiplex was launched near the town of Adeje.

(Bcast) Read more

Spain urged to get on board with DAB+ in light of EECC
11.12.2019 - Spain Spain
Radio industry stakeholders in Spain are endorsing the uptake of DAB+ digital radio in Europe, and urging their government to follow in the footsteps of Italy, France and Germany, by introducing a national law in line with the EECC directive, which requires new cars across the EU to be capable of receiving digital terrestrial radio by the end of 2020.

(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
Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism
Cellnex Telcom