Switzerland

Last update: 21.02.2020 - older versions

Swiss Ofcom officially confirmed on 29 August 2019 that FM will be switched off in Switzerland by no later than end of 2024.  The DigiMig Working Group confirimed that 65% of radio listening is now digital, 35% of which is via DAB+, and with only 17% of radio listening now exclusively via FM. 

The “Digital Migration” (DigiMig) working group

In spring 2013 the radio industry, together with the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), set up the “Digital Migration” working group (DigiMig WG). Within the group are representatives of the Swiss Association of Private Radio (Verband Schweizer Privatradios - VSP), the Union Romande des Radios Régionales (RRR), the union of non-commercial local radios (Unikom), the SRG SSR, OFCOM, the car industry and other industry circles.

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).

Listening figures

Digital radio use in Switzerland increased by 19 percentage points in four years - from 49% in autumn 2015 to 68% in autumn 2019.

DAB+ was also the most widely used radio distribution channel, increasing by 14 percentage points since autumn 2015 and claiming 37% of all listening.

 

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: 13.07.2016 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

The original four multiplexes are run by the public broadcaster SRG SSR. The first commercial DAB+ multiplex which was launched on 13 October 2009 now broadcasts 14 commercial radio stations and three public radio stations in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. A second commercial DAB+ multiplex started in December 2012 in the German speaking part with 13 commercial and 3 public radio stations and a first regional commercial DAB+ multiplex in the French speaking part with 13 commercial and two public radio stations started at the end of 2013. A local multiplex (Geneva region) started in May 2014 with 12 commercial and non-profit radio stations and a second local multiplex started in Zurich in August 2014.

For an up to date list of services on air please visit http://www.broadcast.ch/data_program_dab.aspx

SlideShow

Most stations use slideshow. The website http://www.dab-swiss.ch/html/programme.html has an excel list with more details.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB programmes 6 9 15
DAB+ programmes 80 41 121
Total8650136

Last update: 12.02.2020 - older versions

91% of new cars in Switzerland now with DAB+ as standard

OFCOM surveys show that the proportion of new vehicles in which DAB+ reception is fitted as standard rose sharply again in 2018 and is now 91%, compared with 85% in the previous year. This means that the requirement that will apply in the European Union from the end of 2020, whereby every new passenger vehicle must be DAB+-capable, has almost already been met in Switzerland. 

In 2019, it estimated that around 315.000 new cars equipped with DAB+ radio were sold.

 

 

Last update: 12.02.2020 - older versions

Digital radio usage now 68%, with DAB+ the most widely used radio reception method

At the end of 2019, use  of digital radio by Swiss citizens averaged 64 minutes per 100 radio minutes per day. Of this figure, 37% was accounted for by DAB+, making it the most widely used radio reception method.

Over 600,000 DAB+ radios sold in 2019

In 2019, nearly 300,000 DAB+ radios were sold, plus around 315,000 new cars equipped with DAB+ radio.

For further information and key stats please visit: 

https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage/electronic-media/technology/digital-transmission/dab-plus-is-now-the-most-widely-used-radio-reception-method.html

Last update: 16.05.2019 - older versions

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+. 

 

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 Confirms FM Switch off Date
02.09.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
Radio programs will be available via FM until the end of 2024 at the latest.

(Radio World) Read more


FM switch off in Switzerland could be as early as 2023
30.08.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
A final decision will be taken on which scenario will be adopted by 2021. The first scenario is that there will be an FM shutdown in 2022/2023, with the public broadcaster SRG turning off its FM stations in the second half of 2022, and the private radio stations in early 2023. The second option provides that FM would be switched off by the end of 2024, as stated in the DigiMig report, with all radios switching off FM at the same time.

(Persoenlich.com) Read more


Switzerland's FM switch off is officially confirmed for no later than end 2024
29.08.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
Radio programs in Switzerland will only be available via FM until the end of 2024 according to Bernard Maissen, OFCOM's deputy director, on the occasion of the Swiss Radio Day in Zurich. As at end June 2019, only 17% of listeners use FM on an exclusive basis.

(www.bakom.admin.ch) Read more


Swiss cable network operator opts for Observa Monitoring solution
21.08.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
A major Swiss cable network operator have built upon their Factum Radioscape virtualised DAB+ system with the addition of the complementary Observa Monitoring solution. The monitor and analyser software will be hosted on independent industrial PCs in a 1+1 redundancy scheme for complete network assurance.

(Factum Radioscape) Read more


Swiss drivers urged to get on board with DAB+
12.08.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
As radio in Switzerland continues its journey toward digitisation, Swiss drivers whose cars do not include DAB+ radio - an estimated 3.5 million cars - have been urged to make their vehicles future-proof by adding DAB+ receivers or adaptors to their cars. Currently, approximately 91 percent of new cars released in Switzerland are factory-fitted with DAB+.

(Presseportal Schweiz) Read more


Digital switchover in sight for Switzerland
15.07.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
Analogue transmitters in Switzerland may be deactivated as early as 2022, as the country is set to become the second country in Europe, after Norway, to switch off the FM in favour of DAB+ radio.

(Swiss Info) Read more


Additional licence for DAB+ in French-speaking Switzerland awarded to DABCOM AG
14.05.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
DABCOM AG will construct and operate a DAB+ platform in French-speaking Switzerland with a diverse offering of commercial and alternative programming. Switzerland, which already has over 100 radio stations available in DAB+, is planning to switch off FM broadcasting by 2024 at the latest.

(ComCom) Read more


Terrestrial is the backbone of digital distribution for radio
06.05.2019 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Digital terrestrial radio (mostly DAB+) is gaining ground, with more than 1,500 services in operation across 32 markets in the EBU area.

(Radio World) Read more


Scholz & Friends Zurich wins DAB+ pitch for Switzerland
03.05.2019 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The Federal Office of Communications (Ofcom) has awarded the DAB+ marketing campaign to advertising agency Scholz & Friends Zurich. As part of the five-year agreement, the agency will manage promotional material, public relations, content creation and media planning for the migration of Switzerland's radio to DAB+.

(Werbewoche) Read more


Swiss radio prepares for transition to DAB+
26.04.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
Switzerland is set to become the second country to turn off national FM band and fully adopt DAB+ technology after Norway. As the country's radio continues its path to digitisation, the date for the switchover is set to be announced on 29 August 2019.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 8.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 99.5%
Services: 15 DAB, 121 DAB+
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 91%
Total Sales (cumulative): 4,297,000 devices
Last update: 16.12.2019

Useful Links

dabplus.ch
Swissmediacast.ch
Digimig DSO papers (in English)
Broadcast.ch