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

DAB+ coverage area expanded in south-eastern Switzerland
29.08.2018 - SRG SSR WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
Since the end of August, Swiss station Radio Südostschweiz has been connected to SRG's Ticino DAB+ multiplex I01. Thus, Radio Südostschweiz extends the DAB+ transmission area in the south to the Italian border at Chiasso and Ascona and at the same time opens up the southern valleys of Misox and the Calancatal. Managing director Silvio Lebrument says the move is aimed at preparing for the eventual DAB+ switchover in Switzerland between 2020 and 2024. "Now it is time to motivate the listeners to switch to the new technology," he said.

(Südostschweiz) Read more


Audi Q3 - 2nd Generation
27.07.2018 - AUDI AG WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The hybrid radio is also part of this. It automatically switches between FM, DAB and the online stream, depending on the signal strength of a station, to ensure the best possible reception.

(Motortipps) Read more


EBU welcomes plans to update in EU Electronic Communications Code
12.07.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has welcomed the European Parliament vote that will update existing must-carry rules and provide for a wider choice of free-to-air radio content while on the move. The code introduces new provisions requiring radio sets integrated in new passenger cars in the EU to at least be capable of digital terrestrial radio reception.

(EU Reporter) Read more


European Parliament votes moves in-car radio legislation closer
10.07.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
A vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) formally endorsed a political deal in trilogue on a new EU Electronic Communications Code, aimed at transitioning towards digital radio. A key provision of the code would include requiring radios in cars to be enabled to receive digital content. The Parliament’s plenary is expected to vote on the issue after the summer.

(European Broadcasting Union) Read more


DAB radio has grown in Europe by 23.7% in the last year
06.07.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The European Broadcasting Union's latest annual report has announced that the total number of digital radio stations has grown 23.7% since last year. The figures come from the Market insights digital radio 2018 report.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


Switzerland looks to prepone FM switchoff to 2021
16.06.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
DAB+ was the main topic of a forum organised by Switzerland's public broadcaster SRG on 4 June, where questions on FM switchoff were debated. President of digital working group Digimig Phillip Zahno stated that switchoff could happen as early as 2021, which was confirmed by SwissMediaCast.

(Gorkazumeta) Read more


EBU delivers the A to Z of digital radio network planning
15.06.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
The knowledge available to those planning digital radio networks has been greatly enriched in recent years. Field studies carried out in several countries have contributed to a greater understanding of how DAB and DAB+ networks behave in the real world. A new EBU report, Tech 3391, brings together the latest guidance along with detailed information on deployments and tests in several countries.

(European Broadcasting Union) Read more


DAB+ the focus of SRG industry forum
11.06.2018 - SRG SSR WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland
This year's SRG industry forum was all about DAB+ - with two questions firmly at hand: when will FM switch off, and what preparations have been made? Marco Derighetti of SRG and Philippe Zahno of the working group "Digital Migration" state the time is ripe for switchover.

(CE Today) Read more


Switzerland and Italy move forward with digital plans
11.06.2018 - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana WorldDAB Member - Switzerland Switzerland - Italy Italy
Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office has announced that that radio systems in the motorway tunnels for the DAB+ digital radio reception will be expanded throughout Switzerland. In Rome, RAI Radio has announced the startup of two new DAB+ radio programmes in June, with RAI director Roberto Sergio reiterating the network's commitment to DAB+.

(Radio magazine) Read more


DAB+ now in all tunnels of northeastern Switzerland
10.06.2018 - Switzerland Switzerland
Installation of DAB+ radio has been completed in 27 tunnels in northeastern Switzerland.

(Digitalradiogeraete) 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