Switzerland

Last update: 22.04.2021 - older versions

FM switch off in Switzerland 2022-2023

In August 2020, DigiMig (the digital migration working group) announced that the phase-off of FM services would take place in two stages between August 2022 (SRG) and January 2023 (private stations). The switchoff was confirmed in December 2020, when members of the radio association and the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation agreed to migrate to DAB+.

DAB+ is now the most widely used radio distribution channel in Switzerland, claiming 41% of all listening (Feb 2021). Only one in eight people say they still tune in exclusively to FM radio.

Public broadcaster SSR SRG operates one platform in each of the four regions of the country. There are transmitter networks for private radio stations in German-speaking Switzerland (SwissMediaCast) and in French-speaking Switzerland (Romandie Médias SA).

 

 

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: 26.02.2021 - older versions

5.4 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 5.4 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: 11.01.2021 - older versions

Digital switchover

The Swiss radio industry is moving forward with the deactivation of FM services.

SRG will decommission its FM transmitters in August 2022 to make it easier for commercial operators to switch over. Private radio stations will then deactivate their FM transmitters in January 2023. 

The FM phase-out plan became binding for all broadcasters in December 2020, when a majority of broadcasters agreed to the proposal of the FM phase-out plan.

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

DAB expected to replace FM in Switzerland by early 2023
28.08.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
According to the latest plan revealed by Swiss broadcasters at Swiss RadioDay the phase-off of FM services will take place in stages - starting with SRG switchoff of FM services in August 2022, which will then be followed by private radio stations in January 2023.

(CE Today) Read more


New Swiss information campaign prepares for the phase-out of FM
28.08.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
The campaign will include TV and radio spots, social media activities, billboard advertising, measures for equipment dealers and car dealerships, plus a helpdesk to advise the public

(Ofcom Switzerland) Read more


Swiss radio stations plan to phase out FM broadcasting in 2022/2023
28.08.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
At the SwissRadioDay, the radio sector presented its planned phase-out of FM transmissions, which is to take place between August 2022 (SRG) and January 2023 (private stations). Digital listening in Switzerland now stands at 71%.

(Ofcom Switzerland) Read more


Advertising can now be played directly on the navigation display
27.08.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
The advertisement appears on the display of the DAB+ radio, regardless of which station is running. The goal is to reach all drivers and their passengers. One million cars in Switzerland are currently equipped with the technology, with 300,000 more are added every year. A market with great potential.

(Blick.ch) Read more


Homorous social media advert goes live in Switzerland
10.08.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
A new DAB+ marketing campaign has launched in Switzerland, where a digital switchover is set to take place by 2024. The campaign, which encourages listeners to purchase a DAB+ receiver, emphasises the quality offered by DAB+ digital radio.

(dabplus.ch) Read more


Switzerland inches closer to FM switchoff
21.07.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
Switzerland is embarking on the next phase of its digital radio switchover strategy. In May René Wehrlin, media specialist at Switzerland’s Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom) announced the next steps toward the country’s total transition to DAB+.

(Radio World) Read more


New courses for DAB+ vehicle integration available in Switzerland
01.07.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
DAB+ training certificates are available to automotive professionals in Switzerland wishing to obtain formal qualifications in regards to DAB+. The one day course focuses on a number of topics including DAB+ network structure, standards, antenna technology and installation.

(Moto.ch) Read more


New DAB+ campaign goes live in Switzerland
26.05.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
A new DAB+ campaign has gone live in Switzerland, ahead of the country's planned switchoff of DAB+ services. The campaign, which includes TV and radio spots, is set to inform consumers of the benefits of DAB+, and prepare them for the upcoming digital switchover, set to take place by 2024 at the latest.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


Switzerland prepares listeners for FM switch off
21.05.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
Watch this week’s virtual presentation by René Wehrlin at Swiss media regulator OFCOM with the latest on DAB+ in Switzerland, where broadcasters are gearing up to switch off FM by no later than in 2024 – and possibly earlier.

(WorldDAB) Read more


On its 70th anniversary, EBU maintains initial vision
05.05.2020 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
In this article, the EBU's Graham Dixon discusses the past and future of radio in Europe. He argues that while the history of DAB radio remains to be written, it is already clear that it has provided broadcasters in many countries with the freedom to develop new channels, and serve more hard-to-reach audiences of specific interest groups.

(Radio World) 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): 5,404,000 devices
Last update: 13.04.2021

Useful Links

DABPlus
SwissMediaCast (SMC)
Romandie Médias
Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM)
Digimig DSO papers (in English)
SRG Broadcast
Digris