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 to announce digital switch-off date in August
06.02.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
According to Philippe Zahno, President of the Radios Régionales Romandes - the main association representing private radios in the French-speaking region of Switzerland - the switch-off date will be announced as part of the SwissRadio Day event taking place in Zurich on 29 August.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


DAB+ radio sales to boom in 2019
11.01.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
According to a survey conducted by PCtipp in 2018, sales of DAB+ radios in Switzerland are expected to boom throughout 2019. This marks the first time DAB+ radios are featured within the top four devices desired by consumers in Switzerland, alongside laptops, smartphones and TVs.

(Computer World) Read more


37 new DAB + transmitters for Switzerland in 2018
04.01.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
In 2018, Switzerland's SwissMediaCast continued to make significant investments in the expansion of DAB+ terrestrial digital broadcasting with the launch of 37 new transmitters across the country as it prepares for a digital switchover. With the construction of the SMC D-CH 02 radio multiplex now complete, SwissMediaCast is turning its focus to the SMC D-CH 03 multiplex which is expected to be completed this year.

(Digitalni Radio) Read more


Positive year for SwissMediaCast with DAB+ expansion set to continue into 2019
19.12.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
37 new transmitters were put into operation for the DCH 02 and DCH 03 ensembles as part of the 2018 expansion phase, with the former being largely completed, and the latter set to be completed in 2019.

(Infosat) Read more


New DAB+ radio programs available in Neuchâtel
03.12.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
Since the start of October, eleven new radio programs have appeared on DAB+ in Neuchâtel. DAB + is gradually replacing the FM, which is expected to disappear in Switzerland by 2024 at the latest.

(arcinfo.ch) Read more


Switzerland: increased financial support for local radio
26.09.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
About two thirds of the additional resources (8.4 million francs) go to the 13 regional televisions holding a concession, and a good third to the 21 radio rights holders. With regard to the planned amount for radio, 85% goes to commercial radio stations in the peripheral and mountain regions, and 15% to non-commercial supplementary radios.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


Increased funding for Swiss radio as part of DAB+ transition
25.09.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) in Switzerland will increase the financial support for licensed local radio stations and regional TV by CHF 13.5 million as of 1 January, totalling CHF 81 million as a result of a decision taken in 2017. The decision will also extend the licences of regional radio stations, as part of the DAB+ transition in Switzerland.

(InfoSat) Read more


DAB+ coverage to increase in Swiss tunnels
18.09.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
Tunnels in the Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland are set to receive DAB+ signals, with the motorway between Ticino and Mesolcina already covered, while tests are running between Airolo and Chiasso and in the canton of Grisons. All services should be ready for full transmissions by the end of November.

(Ticino Online) Read more


New voice-controlled hybrid radio unveiled at IBC2018
14.09.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The world's first voice-controlled hybrid radio was unveiled at IBC2018 last Friday. An initiative between European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the NAB's PILOT innovation initiative. "“Radio reaches 85 percent of European citizens every week, overwhelmingly through free-to-air broadcast FM and DAB+. But smart speakers and other voice-controlled devices are becoming an important platform for innovation in radio. By demonstrating that combining the best of broadcast and the internet generates value for both content producers and audiences, the EBU and NAB are working to ensure that the vital role of radio and its benefits for communities and societies are maintained,” said Ben Poor, EBU project manager.

(All Access) Read more


German-speaking Swiss DAB+ station expands further in country's south-east
08.09.2018 - SRG SSR WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
German-speaking Swiss station Radio Südostschweiz has expanded its DAB+ reception area to the canton of Graubünden and the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.

(Radiowoche) Read more


Select Country:

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