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

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


Swiss regulator OFCOM encourages drivers to convert to DAB+
15.04.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
The Swiss regulator Ofcom advises that while 9 out of 10 new cars now come with DAB+ as standard, there are still 3.5m older vehicles that will need to be converted in time for the imminent switchover from FM to DAB+.

(CE Today) Read more


Digital switchover – Norway listening back to pre-DSO levels, Switzerland DSO on the horizon
04.04.2019 - WorldDAB News - Norway Norway - Switzerland Switzerland
Norway opened the second day of the Radiodays Europe with a presentation titled: ‘Beyond FM – the new normal’, where Ole Jorgen Torvmark, who discussed Norway's successful transition to digital radio, was joined on stage by Arqiva’s Head of New Technology Simon Mason and Iso Reichsteiner, Project Manager of the DSO process in Switzerland.

(WorldDAB) Read more


In-car hyrbid radio - how does it work?
02.04.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
The automotive manufacturer Audi was present at Radiodays Europe in Lausanne, showcasing RadioDNS technology and how it enables drivers to switch from DAB+ to FM to internet radio in a smooth and seamless way, enabling drivers to listen to their favourite radio stations while on the go.

(La Lettre Pro) Read more


EBU's Digital Radio Week helps foster digital radio innovation
19.03.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
At this year's EBU Digital Radio Summit, Laurence Harrison talked delegates through the updated guidelines for in-car user experience from WorldDAB as well as highlighting what automotive manufacturers need from broadcasters, while ABC's Jeremy Millar touched on how DAB+ listening is growing faster than internet listening, and providing a vital boost to overall listening figures.

(European Broadcasting Union) Read more


Switzerland starts training for installers of automotive aftermarket DAB+ radios
19.03.2019 - Switzerland Switzerland
In order to prepare its members for the post-FM era, the Auto Trade Association of Switzerland (AGVS) will be conducting two certified DAB+ training courses this April. Over the course of the day, attendees will be able to learn about the benefits offered by DAB+, and how to adapt in-car radios to DAB+. It is believed that approximately 3.5 million vehicles in Switzerland will have to be adapted to fit DAB+ capabilities.

(Auto Trade Association Switzerland) 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