Switzerland

Last update: 16.09.2021 - older versions

FM switch off end 2024

Swiss radio broadcasters will shut down FM as originally planned on 31 December 2024, according to a press release published by Digimig, the Swiss broadcaster working group on digital migration, on 26 August 2021. On the same date, FM radio licences expire. From that date onwards, radio programmes will no longer be broadcast via FM. With the return to the original switch-off date, consumers have more time to switch technology.

In 2014, Swiss radio broadcasters agreed to stop broadcasting on FM by 2024 at the latest. At the end of 2020, almost three quarters of radio listening was digital, and the radio industry decided that an early and staggered shutdown of the FM stations in August 2022 (SRG) and in January 2023 (private radio) would be responsible. 42 out of 44 of Switzerland's radio broadcasters and the public broadcaster SRG agreed on this.

A public debate on FM switch off took place in 2021. In the German-speaking and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, the vast majority of radio broadcasters remained in favour of the early shutdown of VHF, however not in French-speaking Switzerland. Since a nationwide solution is needed, radio broadcasters returned to their original plan of switching off the FM stations by 31 December 2024.

Read the Digimig press release

Read the Digital Radio Use in Switzerland - GfK Trend analysis August 2021

 

Last update: 15.04.2020 - older versions

Digital radio on DAB+ in Switzerland reaches over 99% of the population (outdoor 99%, indoor over 96%). 99% of the roads are covered, including high way tunnels.  

The latest commissioning is published as news on www.broadcast.ch.

Further resources on DAB+ coverage in Switzerland

Broadcast.ch Reception Card

Reception in Switzerland

SwissMediaCast Coverage Maps

 

 

Last update: 08.04.2022 - 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.

Because of the structure of four languages, in Switzerland, there are no national multiplexes. Four of the seven language regional multiplexes are run by the public broadcaster SRG SSR since 1999. The first commercial DAB+ multiplex was launched by SMC in October 2009 in the German part of the country, the second one (ROM) at the end of 2013 in the French speaking part. Since December 2020 SMC runs a second language regional multiplex in the italian speaking part of Switzerland (Ticino). SMC also runs four regional multiplexes since December 2012. The first local multiplex (Geneva region) started in May 2014 in particular for non-profit radios. Today 17 so-called “local DAB+ islands” are on air in bigger agglomerations of the whole country, all run by Digris.

Factsheet

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For an up to date list of services on air please visit: 

SRG Broadcast

SwissMediaCast (SMC)

Romandie Médias

Digris

DABPlus 

For further information about DAB+ in Switzerland, please visit:

Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)

DABPlus, the Communication Campaign

All programs are distributed on internet as well, and in addition, there are 78 internet only services.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB+ programmes 54 70 124
Data services 0 1 1
Total5471125

Last update: 26.02.2021 - older versions

99% of new cars in Switzerland now with DAB+ as standard

99 percent of all new cars are now equipped with a DAB+ radio as standard. Despite the pandemic-related slump in car sales, in 2020 the number of passenger cars equipped with DAB+ increased by 275,000 to just under 2 million vehicles.

DAB+ usage in cars

DAB+ could be received in 42 per cent of all vehicles at the end of 2020; at 47 per cent, reception via DAB+ is higher than via FM (45%), and overall digital use (including the internet) stands at 55 per cent.

 

 

Last update: 01.11.2021 - older versions

5.7 million DAB+ radios sold

In 2020, just under 600,000 DAB+ radios (including car radios) were sold.

According to the six-monthly surveys of electronics stores conducted by the market research institute GfK, a total of 5.7 million DAB+ devices have been sold since 2000. This indicates coverage of about one and a half devices per household.

There is also a clear upward trend in DAB+ equipment in vehicles: 99 percent of all new cars are now equipped with a DAB+ radio as standard. 

Last update: 26.08.2021 - older versions

Digital switchover

Swiss radio broadcasters will shut down FM as originally planned on 31 December 2024, according to a press release published by Digimig, the Swiss broadcaster working group on digital migration, on 26 August 2021. On the same date, FM radio licences expire. From that date onwards, radio programmes will no longer be broadcast via FM. With the return to the original switch-off date, consumers have more time to switch technology.

In 2014, Swiss radio broadcasters agreed to stop broadcasting on FM by 2024 at the latest. At the end of 2020, almost three quarters of radio listening was digital, and the radio industry decided that an early and staggered shutdown of the FM stations in August 2022 (SRG) and in January 2023 (private radio) would be responsible. 42 out of 44 of Switzerland's radio broadcasters and the public broadcaster SRG agreed on this.

A public debate on FM switch off took place in 2021. In the German-speaking and Italian speaking regions of Switzerland, the vast majority of radio broadcasters remained in favour of the early shutdown of VHF, however not in French-speaking Switzerland. Since a nationwide solution is needed, radio broadcasters returned to their original plan of switching off the FM stations by 31 December 2024.

Key features of regulation for digital radio in Switzerland are:

  • Band III
  • National multiplexes
  • All stations are on DAB+
  • In 2013 stand-alone Band III ensembles were authorised by the regulator in the main conurbations, intended as a DAB+ platform for the smaller, non-commercial broadcasters
  • On December 1st 2014 radio market players presented to the regulator a detailed digital switch over plan
  • In 2016, it was decided that all services in the future should be DAB+
  • OFCOM holds the spectrum licence
  • In mid-February 2012, OFCOM awarded a broadcast licence to Romandie Médias SA to operate a further DAB+ network in French-speaking Switzerland. The new platform, which has a capacity of up to 18 DAB+ stations, went on air in April 2014.
  • The SRG licence includes the operation of a DAB multiplex and transmission network in Band III. The transmitter sites are operated by Swisscom Broadcast, but SRG is responsible for the planning of the network, signal generating and multiplexing.

 

 

Last update: 05.05.2020 - older versions

Over the past few years, a number of campaigns have launched in Switzerland on national TV and radio, to help promote DAB+ and inform listeners, drivers and consumers of the benefits of digital radio.

 Current campaign

In order to encourage listeners to switch to digital reception at home and in the car, a multi-year information campaign was launched on 4 May 2020. It is intended to support the audience with information and assistance during the upcoming FM phase-out. The campaign will include TV and radio spots, social media activities, out-of-home advertising, measures for equipment dealers and car dealerships, plus a helpdesk to advise the public. The campaign will run until the final FM switch-off.

Previous campaigns

 

 

 

Last update: 08.04.2019 - older versions

Switzerland is also a pioneer in DAB/DAB+ tunnel rebroadcast systems. There are currently eight tunnels equipped and the plan is to cover up to 200 tunnels using 100 head ends and 1,000 transmitting sites. Emergency voice break-in, signal levels, system design and interfaces are also going to be specified. 

The emergency alerting system in Switzerland for disasters today primarily relies on sirens (for “wake-up”) and Swiss Radio (for delivering the information). Swiss Radio currently broadcasts via VHF as well as via DAB+. Information can also be displayed on TV on banners and teletext, although this was only used once so far. In addition to this, cantons and municipalities are free to add their own channels for their official information (e.g., Twitter or Facebook).

In the next years, additional channels will be added. As of 2018, emergency alerts, warnings and information will also be published via the smartphone App “Alertswiss”, and the Website www.alertswiss.ch . As of 2019, further channels shall be added.

Regarding DAB+ in particular, the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) has undertaken different technical assessments and studies. Swiss Post, in collaboration with FOCP, has developed and successfully tested a prototype of a smart letterbox display that can show governmental information in case of an emergency. This information can be transmitted via DAB+. See also: https://youtu.be/kfTu4C7G3-Y

Switzerland listens digitally – FM radio is losing importance
21.03.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
Three out of four Swiss people listen to radio programs digitally. While the use of DAB+ and radio via the internet increases, FM continues to lose importance. DAB+ and internet distribution are now equally strong and each account for a good third of total radio usage. The radio industry has agreed to switch from VHF to digital broadcasting via DAB+ by the end of 2024.

(infosat.de) Read more


Deutschlandradio programs can be received in selected Swiss regions via DAB+
10.03.2022 - digris AG WorldDAB Member - Deutschlandradio WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Digris AG from Switzerland approached Deutschlandradio with an offer to broadcast the three Deutschlandradio programs Deutschlandfunk, Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Deutschlandfunk in selected regions of German-speaking Switzerland via DAB+. After examining the offer, Deutschlandradio allowed digris AG to feed the programs into their regional DAB+ multiplexes. Since March 8th, these can be received in the regions of south-eastern Switzerland, Bernese Oberland and Upper Valais.

(Deutschlandradio) Read more


Switzerland: DAB+ and internet gain ground, FM declines
14.02.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
DAB+ and the internet account for three quarters of total radio usage. FM is still losing ground, while the use of the two digital broadcast modes is increasing. DAB+ and internet broadcasting now each account for a third of total radio use. The Swiss radio industry has agreed to switch from FM to digital DAB+ broadcasting by the end of 2024. Virtually all new vehicles are equipped with a DAB+ set as standard. OFCOM will publish new figures in the first quarter of 2022.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


Three quarters of all radio listening in Switzerland is now digital
04.02.2022 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Digital radio reception via DAB+ and the internet now accounts for three quarters of all radio listening. FM use continues to decline, while both DAB+ and online radio are gaining in popularity. Radio reception via DAB+ and the internet are now equally popular, each accounting for around a third of radio use. The radio industry has decided to switch off FM in favour of DAB+ digital broadcasting by the end of 2024.

(BAKOM) Read more


Switzerland: Media One Group launches new DAB+ radio station
02.02.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
A new urban radio station has launched on DAB+ in Romandy, the French-speaking part of western Switzerland. URBN RADIO was launched in response to demand from younger, urban and cosmopolitan listeners, and plays a mix of rap, hip-hop and R'n'B, with a focus on featuring Swiss talent.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


Swiss broadcaster gains new advertising clients with expanded DAB+ coverage
05.01.2022 - Switzerland Switzerland
Swiss radio station JAMES FM is expanding its DAB+ broadcasting area to include the important economic region of Zurich. What began as a DAB+ station in Central Switzerland has now a loyal audience throughout Switzerland. Since the beginning of the year JAMES FM can also be received on DAB+ in the greater Zurich area. Advertisers can book campaigns in the entire DAB+ broadcasting area or in the individual DAB broadcasting regions “Central Switzerland” and “Zurich”. In addition to long-standing advertising customers, well-known new partners have joined for the DAB+ launch in Zurich.

(Radioszene.de) Read more


Klassik Radio expands Swiss DAB+ broadcast area
10.12.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
Klassik Radio remains on a strategic expansion course: the radio station for classical music fans, which was expanded in March 2021 in a first step into German-speaking Switzerland, will also be receivable via DAB+ in the federal capital of Bern, the Bernese Oberland, Biel-Solothurn and Oberwallis. from 10 December 2021.

(Infosat.de ) Read more


SRG: DAB+ network now with almost complete coverage
10.12.2021 - SRG SSR WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
After the expansion in German-speaking Switzerland in 2020 and 2021, SRG expanded its DAB+ digital radio network in Italian and French-speaking Switzerland. In total, it has put ten new DAB+ transmitter sites into operation and optimised twelve. In the Jura region in particular, SRG ensured better DAB+ reception. The DAB+ network in Italian-speaking Switzerland has been fully expanded since the DAB+ transmitter Cardada went into operation in early 2021.

(Infosat) Read more


In Switzerland, Station 23.6 Grows on DAB+
01.09.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
“23.6, Premier sur les Hits” is a private radio station belonging to Tout’Com, a communication company that has been active in French-speaking Switzerland for several years. The station launched in April, positioning itself as a young adult radio station that gives priority to music.

(REDTECH) Read more


Swiss radio industry reverts to original date for FM switch off
01.09.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
Swiss radio broadcasters have decided to switch off FM transmitters on 31 December 2024. By reverting to the original switch off date, listeners have more time to upgrade their radios. Overall, around three quarters of radio listeners have gone digital, mostly via DAB+. Only 14 percent still listen exclusively on FM.

(OFCOM) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 8.7 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 99.5%
Services: 124 DAB+, 1 Data
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 99%
Total Sales (cumulative): 5,694,000 devices
Last update: 01.11.2021

Useful Links

DABPlus
SwissMediaCast (SMC)
Romandie Médias
Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)
SRG Broadcast
Digris