Spain

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
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: 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).

JBL Tuner, the three in one: FM radio with DAB+ and Bluetooth, Portable
10.07.2018 - Spain Spain
In addition to FM reception, with the ability to receive RDS information (text from the station for example), the JBL Tuner has DAB. This type of emissions is equivalent to television DTT: it uses a traditional channel to send packaged digital signals.

(Tuexperto) Read more


Subaru Outback Executive Plus S
04.05.2018 - Spain Spain
For connectivity systems, the new Subaru has a new 8-inch screen to link the phones through Apple Car Play and Android Auto. There is DAB+ digital radio, bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary connector and several USB, also in the rear seats with two new sockets.

(Hoy) Read more


Pure Siesta Home
01.05.2018 - Pure - Spain Spain
The Pure Siesta Home has an FM radio tuner compatible with the DAB and DAB+ digital systems, it has Bluetooth to send music from your mobile.

(Xataka Home) Read more


Yamaha RX-V485
28.04.2018 - Spain Spain
This receiver is actually a variant of the Yamaha RX-V485. In that the built-in analogue radios are FM and AM, and in this model the AM radio is changed by a digital DAB.

(Tuexperto) Read more


Spanish politician Carles Mulet calls on government to pursue DAB+
07.04.2018 - Spain Spain
Spokesperson for Spain's Compromis Party Carles Mulet has called for the country's government to pursue a digital agenda, aimed at the digitisation of radio in Spain. He cited the examples of Norway, Switzerland, France and the UK and their governments pursuing a process to increase DAB services as what Spain should follow.

(Guiade la Radio) Read more


The evolution of DAB+
21.03.2018 - Spain Spain - Austria Austria
TEA FM's Chusé Fernández reflects on Radiodays Europe 2018, including on the Norwegian switchover workshop held last Sunday.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


DAB threatens the oligopoly of the Spanish radio industry
13.03.2018 - Spain Spain
According to Professor Mateo Burgos García of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, there are three major points to explain why digital terrestrial radio is not definitively promoted in Spain, also known as the DAB, or its evolution the DAB+.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


Videos: analog FM switch-off in Sudtirol and ways to promote digital radio
05.03.2018 - WorldDAB News - Spain Spain
Norway was the first country to switch off FM in Europe. Far from intimidating other countries, others are following the game and proposing FM blackouts to promote emissions in DAB +. Recently FM is starting to be turned off in Sudtirol, where RAS has been turning off FM transmitters since December.

(MPM Space) Read more


Subaru Forester 2018
07.02.2018 - Spain Spain
The interior also receives some minor updates with more modern materials, a color LCD screen with new graphics and an audio system with DAB + radio with Subaru Starlink.

(Motor Pasion) Read more


Regulatory indications show FM will not stay forever
05.02.2018 - Spain Spain
A noteworthy fact that gives an idea of ​​the magnitude of DAB+ implementation is that public broadcasters of multiple European countries have already put on the air 369 stations in DAB and DAB+, of which 97 are not available in FM.

(Gorkazumeta) 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