Switzerland - Regulation and Spectrum - History

28.08.2020

Digital switchover

At the SwissRadioDay on 27 August 2020, the digital migration working group ‘AG DigiMig’ announced that – owing to positive signs from the market and to the trend in listener numbers – the radio industry is planning to press ahead with the deactivation of FM services.

In an industry agreement signed a few days earlier, it was agreed that SRG would decommission its FM transmitters in August 2022 to make it easier for commercial operators to switch over.

The private radio stations are then due to deactivate their FM transmitters in January 2023. The Verband Schweizer Privatradios (VSP), the Union Romande des Radios Régionales (RRR) and the Union nicht-gewinnorientierter Lokalradios (Unikom) are requesting the approval of their members by end-November 2020.

If a majority of radio broadcasters as defined by AG DigiMig agree to the proposals put forward by these associations, the FM phase-out plan will become binding for all broadcasters. SRG has already agreed to the decommissioning proposal.

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.

 

 

16.05.2019

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.

Commercial radio and media companies in the German part of Switzerland were granted 8 licences in summer 2007.  SwissMediaCast AG was granted a licence to broadcast on Channel 7D and 9A by Swiss Ofcom (the regulator). SMC AG running the first commercial DAB+ multiplex in German-speaking Switzerland. On 13 May 2019 the Swiss regulatory and licensing body ComCom granted another licence for broadcasting DAB+ services in French-speaking Switzerland to DABCOM AG (IP worldcom / DIGRIS).

From 2020, regional radio stations which cover conurbations should benefit from greater autonomy by no longer being subject to a licensing system including a performance mandate. This proposal is included in the revised Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO) which the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is putting out for consultation from 16 February 2017. The new text, which deals with radio broadcasting, also paves the way for the transition from FM to DAB+. 

 

06.03.2019

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.

Commercial radio and media companies in the German part of Switzerland were granted 8 licences in summer 2007.  SwissMediaCast AG was granted a licence to broadcast on Channel 7D and 9A by Swiss Ofcom (the regulator). SMC AG running the first commercial DAB+ multiplex in German-speaking Switzerland.

From 2020, regional radio stations which cover conurbations should benefit from greater autonomy by no longer being subject to a licensing system including a performance mandate. This proposal is included in the revised Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO) which the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is putting out for consultation from 16 February 2017. The new text, which deals with radio broadcasting, also paves the way for the transition from FM to DAB+.