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).

Digital radio: an opportunity for diversity
14.02.2017 - Spain Spain
2017 started with the news that Norway is turning off FM and switching to DAB+. Digital radio via DAB+ offers the opportunity for a more diverse range of stations for listeners as well as improved listening quality.

(Eldiario.es) Read more


Sangean WF-30 review
16.11.2016 - Spain Spain
The Sangean WF-30 is housed in a black wooden box with stylized lines, it contains a range of advanced technology such as DAB+ which allows listeners to enjoy their favourite radio stations with great sound quality.

(Premium Life) Read more


The future of DAB passes through Vienna
02.11.2016 - WorldDAB News - Spain Spain
The 2016 WorldDAB General Assembly will bring together an audience of more than 200 radio experts including policy makers, broadcasters and industry representatives to discuss the future of digital radio.The dominant theme of this year's event will be the growing momentum towards the deployment of DAB across Europe and beyond.

(El Radioescucha ) Read more


Siesta S2 review
30.10.2016 - Pure - Spain Spain
The Pure Siesta S2 has an automatic time setting from the radio signal, which is very a practical option. This model is available in white or black does not adopt an unorthodox shape, but has loads of  features that makes it a well thought out device. 

(The Digital ) Read more


Sangean WF-30
21.10.2016 - Spain Spain
The WF-30 is compatible with digital radio via DAB+ and the radio via the Internet. Thanks to the mobile application UNDOK , freely available operating system for phones with Android or iOS , the user can access a wide range of radio stations worldwide through the Internet.

(Tuexperto.com) Read more


Sanchez outlines potential of DAB+ in Spain
17.10.2016 - Spain Spain
DAB+ has yet to be officially approved for use in Spain, but Javier Sanchez, President of the Strategic Program Platforms EBU Digital Radio, reports that the standard would bring advantages to the largest country on the Iberian Peninsula.

(Radio World) Read more


The translation stage DAB to DAB + in Spain
12.10.2016 - Spain Spain
Javier Sanchez, President of the Strategic Programme Platforms EBU Digital Radio explores the future of digital radio in Spain. He notes how the spectrum efficiency of DAB+ is about three times greater than that of DAB. He notes how switching to DAB+ in Spain could allow up to 48 new radio stations on air.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


Vienna will host the WorldDAB General Assembly 2016 9-10 November 2016
06.10.2016 - WorldDAB News - Spain Spain
The meeting will serve to reinforce the growing political commitment of European countries. The theme of the Assembly is "New content, new markets".

(Gorka Zumeta) Read more


Sangean WFR-27C review
20.09.2016 - Spain Spain
The WFR-27C is a radio that combines classic design elements with the all the latest technology including DAB+ radio, Spotify connect and Wi-Fi.

(Tuexperto.com) Read more


If Germany pushes with DAB+, Europe will end up on the bandwagon
14.09.2016 - Spain Spain
In ten points, ARD draws a very tight common framework to ensure the progress of DAB+. Digital radio has always been universal and free and 50 million DAB/DAB+ receivers have already been sold worldwide.

(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