Switzerland

Last update: 28.08.2020 - older versions

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).

Digital switchover

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).

Listening figures

Digital radio use in Switzerland increased from 49% in autumn 2015 to 71% in Spring 2020. 39% of all listening is via DAB+.

DAB+ is now the most widely used radio distribution channel, claiming 39% 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: 28.08.2020 - 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 over 91%. 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.


DAB+ now the most popular form of reception in cars

In cars, DAB+ has also taken over from FM as the principal means of receiving radio broadcasts. Among motorists, reception of transmissions via DAB+ or internet radio now accounts for 55 percent of total usage.

 

 

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: 28.08.2020 - older versions

Digital switchover

At the SwissRadioDay on 27 August 2020, the digital migration working group ‘AG DigiMig’ announced that – owing to positive signs from the market and to the trend in listener numbers – the radio industry is planning to press ahead with the deactivation of FM services.

In an industry agreement signed a few days earlier, it was agreed that SRG would decommission its FM transmitters in August 2022 to make it easier for commercial operators to switch over.

The private radio stations are then due to deactivate their FM transmitters in January 2023. The Verband Schweizer Privatradios (VSP), the Union Romande des Radios Régionales (RRR) and the Union nicht-gewinnorientierter Lokalradios (Unikom) are requesting the approval of their members by end-November 2020.

If a majority of radio broadcasters as defined by AG DigiMig agree to the proposals put forward by these associations, the FM phase-out plan will become binding for all broadcasters. SRG has already agreed to the decommissioning proposal.

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

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


The "Swiss Radio Player" is live
30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
As announced in May, the Association of Swiss Private Radio (VSP), Unikom and Radio Régionales Romandes (RRR) have launched the Swiss Radio Player on the occasion of Swiss Radio Day, with about 130 stations to be available on the app. The three associations together with the SRG each have a 25 percent share.

(Radiowoche) Read more


63 percent of radio usage is now digital in Switzerland
30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Digital radio usage increased again by 2 percentage points from autumn 2017 to spring 2018 to 63 percent. This was announced by the working group DigiMig (Digital Migration) during Swiss Radioday on 29 August.

(Horizont) Read more


Swiss Radioplayer is operational
30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The Swiss Radioplayer app has launched and is broadcasting more than 130 radio stations. The app is an initiative between the Swiss Association of Private Radio Stations (VSP), Union of Local Non-commercial Radio Stations (Unikom) and the Regional Radio Union of France (NRR) as well as the SSR, with each party holding 25% of the shares.

(La Liberté) Read more


63 percent of radio listening is now digital in Switzerland
30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Digital listening in Switzerland increased by 14 percentage points to 63% from autumn 2015 to spring 2018, according to a new report by broadcast regulator OFCOM Switzerland. The findings also showed a 14% drop in FM listening, with the regulator citing DAB+ as the key driver towards the increase in digital listening.

(OFCOM Switzerland) Read more


The Swiss Radioplayer is launched
30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland WorldDAB Member - SRG SSR WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The Swiss Association of Private Radio Stations have launched a Radioplayer app on 30 August. The three associations ASRP, Unikom and RRR, together with the SSR, announced that the app would take place in May, and was launched as part of Swiss Radio Day.

(Presse Portal Switzerland) 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