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).

When Europe bets on the DAB, Spain recoils with the FM flag
13.12.2017 - Spain Spain
Spain has definitely been left behind in the process of implementing the DAB within the scope of the European Broadcasting Union.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


The Spanish island in the European DAB
20.11.2017 - Spain Spain
Javier Sánchez (EBU): "As of today, the calendar for the deployment of the DAB in Spain is not yet established". Trying to slow down the implementation of DAB radio, or its evolution, the DAB+, clearly means on the threshold of the 21st century, swimming against the current, compared to what happens in the rest of the world.

(Gorka Zumeta) Read more


The Spanish island in the European DAB
18.11.2017 - Spain Spain
Javier Sánchez (EBU): "As of today, the calendar for the deployment of the DAB in Spain is not yet established". Trying to slow down the implementation of terrestrial digital radio, known as DAB radio, or its evolution, the DAB+, clearly means, at the threshold of the 21st century, swimming against the current, compared to what happens in the rest of the world.

Read more


Sales of DAB receivers is close to 60 Million
01.11.2017 - WorldDAB News - Spain Spain
According to a new report from WorldDAB, by the end of the second quarter of 2017, almost 60 million DAB receivers had been sold, compared to 48 million the previous year.

(El Radioescucha) Read more


Digital radio, leaps and bounds in Europe
25.08.2017 - Spain Spain
In recent times we have seen how radio in our country has begun to reinvent itself. New listening formats, podcasts, content, greater offer, specialization and improvements in sound quality are just some of the benefits that the digital universe has brought to the radio sphere.

(Puerto Plata Al Minuto ) Read more


Five cheap DAB radios ideal for any home
23.08.2017 - Spain Spain
All these radios are compatible with the DAB and DAB+ radio, which we can now enjoy in Spain, and none of them exceeds €40.As you can see, DAB is available to everyone.

(Radios digitales) Read more


Strong growth in sales of digital radio receivers in Europe
21.08.2017 - WorldDAB News - Spain Spain - United Kingdom United Kingdom
The first half of 2017 has experienced rapid growth in sales of DAB + receivers throughout Europe, driven by Norway's transition from FM to this new digital terrestrial radio technology and the development of digital radio markets across the continent .

(Gorka Zumenta) Read more


The automotive industry continues to focus on DAB+
07.07.2017 - Spain Spain
"Our message to the automotive industry today is that all vehicles must have FM and digital radio capabilities, offering the best experience for drivers across the continent." said Patrick Hannon, president of WorldDAB at the recent Automotive Event in Munich where it was also announced that in 2016, 4.6 million new cars were sold in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Australia, 40% more than in 2015.

(The Radioeschucha) Read more


WorldDAB President invites private broadcasters to adopt DAB+
08.03.2017 - Spain Spain
DAB offers significant opportunities for private broadcasters and many are already reaping the benefits. The mantra for all radio broadcasters should be to collaborate on technology and compete on content. For those watching and waiting, now is the time to get involved. If you don’t, then the competition most certainly will.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


Sangean WFR-30, a radio with DAB+
03.03.2017 - Spain Spain
The Sangean WFR-30 is a desktop radio in a classic design, but despite its appearance it is a very modern radio. The WFR-30 is compatible with Internet radio, includes DAB+, supports Spotify Connect and incorporates a full-color 2.4-inch LCD screen.

(Tuexperto.com) 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