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

New DAB+ information campaign prepares Switzerland for the phase-out of FM
05.05.2020 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The FM frequencies in Switzerland will be switched off by the end of 2024 at the latest and in order to prepare the population for the switch to digital radio reception, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) launched a new DAB+ information campaign on 4 May 2020.

(https://www.dabplus.ch/) Read more


FM broadcasts ceased in Les Brenets, Switzerland
04.05.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
The FM transmitter serving the municipality of Les Brenets, in Switzerland's Neuchatel, has now been switched off and replaced with a DAB+ transmitter that will serve the area.

(RTN) Read more


New DAB+ campaign launches in Switzerland
04.05.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
Switzerland's Ofcom has launched a new informative campaign highlighting the benefits of DAB+ digital radio, now the most used radio platform in the country. The campaign aims to provide consumers with information and guidance on DAB+ ahead of the country's digital switchover, due to take place by 2024 at the latest.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


New transmitter goes on air in western Switzerland
29.04.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
RTN's new transmitter, which launched in La Brévine, a region bordering with France in western Switzerland, should help listeners in the region benefit from improved coverage on DAB+ digital radio.

(Rtn.ch) Read more


EBU publishes Technical Report TR 051 on Measuring Techniques for DAB Coverage Performance
28.04.2020 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Roberto Moro, Strategic Broadcast Services Manager at SRG SSR, and Chair of the Group that produced the report within the EBU Project Group on Sharing & Planning Terrestrial services as part of the EBU's Strategic Programme on Spectrum, discusses the importance of measuring a DAB network and its coverage as part of the launch of the EBU's Technical Report TR 051 on Measuring Techniques for DAB Coverage Performance.

(WorldDAB) Read more


Which DAB+ radio is right for me?
14.04.2020 - Panasonic Automotive Systems Europe GmbH WorldDAB Member - Roberts Radio Limited WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Switzerland's Online PC magazine puts six different DAB+ radios to the test, including the Panasonic RF-D100BT, Pure Evoke C-F6 and StreamR, and the Roberts Revival iStream 3.

(Online PC) Read more


Three quarters of Swiss people listen to digital radio
20.02.2020 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
According to the latest data revealed by Ofcom, today, 68 percent of all radio listening in Switzerland takes place on digital radio. Claiming 37% of total listening, DAB+ now leads the way as the country's most used radio platform.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


DAB+ progress in the spotlight at Digital Radio Summit
12.02.2020 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The European Broadcasting Union's Digital Radio Summit helped highlight some of the progress of DAB+ in Europe - in the UK, 95% of cars are now equipped with DAB, while in Germany, there are now more DAB radios being sold than FM, and a second national multiplex with commercial stations is set to launch in September. Digris has been licensed by Ofcom for the installation of local DAB+ networks in Switzerland as the country prepares for the switch off of its FM services.

(European Broadcasting Union) Read more


DAB+ now the most widely used radio distribution channel in Switzerland
10.02.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
In Switzerland, digital radio use 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.

(Ofcom) Read more


DAB+ becomes most widely used radio distribution channel in Switzerland
10.02.2020 - Switzerland Switzerland
In Switzerland, digital radio use 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.

(Info Digital) 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