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: 22.03.2021 - 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.

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

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


Switzerland will switch off FM end 2024
26.08.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
Swiss radio broadcasters have decided to 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 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.

(Digimig) Read more


Swiss Radio Day 2021 programme published
07.07.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
This year's Swiss Radio Day will take place on 26 August 2021 as an on-location live event in Zurich, and live online video-streamed. Organisers have published the programme and registration is open. Topics discussed include an update on DAB+ and the ongoing preparations to switch off FM between August 2022 (public stations) and January 2023 (private stations).

(radioday.ch) Read more


EBU’s new head of radio to prioritise DAB+ growth
15.04.2021 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The continuing progress of digital radio, specifically DAB+, and the deployment of hybrid radio within cars/trucks to retain radio’s share of the vital mobile market are priorities for Edita Kudláčová.

(Radio World) Read more


Swiss listeners take up digital radio
04.03.2021 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
OFCOM, the Swiss Federal Office of Communication, says DAB+ is now the most widely used radio reception method in the country, and that only one in eight people say they still tune in exclusively to FM radio.

(Radio World) Read more


Switzerland goes digital – DAB+ is now the most widely used radio reception method
25.02.2021 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Three quarters of radio usage in Switzerland is now digital. DAB+ is the most widely used radio reception method, in all parts of the country. Only one in eight people say they still tune in exclusively to FM radio.

(Ofcom Switzerland) Read more


EBU Digital Radio Summit - event summary
17.02.2021 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The EBU's Digital Radio Summit featured a wide range of speakers including the WorldDAB Automotive Working Group's new chair Martin Koch, who discussed the future of radio in the car and WorldDAB's latest initiatives in this space.

(European Broadcasting Union) Read more


Advertisements now displayed on DAB+ receivers
08.02.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
Advertisers in Switzerland can now display adverts on DAB+ receiver screens, both at home and in the car, thanks to the DAB+ feature SLS. Brands now advertising via DAB+ include Opel, Heinz, Tabasco, AutoScout24 and FinanceScout24, joining early adoptors Smile.direct, Lattesso, Helvetica and Seeklinik Brunnen.

(Klein Report) Read more


Adverts now shown on DAB+ consumer radio receivers
05.02.2021 - Switzerland Switzerland
The first DAB+ display adverts were shown in cars across Switzerland in August 2020 and the offer has now been expanded to show product advertisements on DAB+ home radios with displays.

(Horizont) 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)
Digimig DSO papers (in English)
SRG Broadcast
Digris