Last update: 29-08-2017 - older versions
Digital radio will be launched officially in the first half of 2018. A call for bids for one nationwide and regional/local multiplexes started in January 2017 and ended on June 12th 2017. The tender from local or regional terrestrial multiplex platforms for digital terrestrial broadcasting in the standard DAB+ (MUX II) is online at https://www.rtr.at/de/m/Ausschreibungen. By the end of 2017 the contract will be awarded to the applicants for the network construction by the regulator RTR and a solution to the minimum charges will be found with the collecting society AKM. Two applications have been submitted for the digital radio station network in Austria, as announced by the association Digitalradio Austria and the media authority KommAustria. ORS is now applying for eleven programs for nationwide coverage. RTG Radio Technikum GmbH is applying for the regional broadcast network in the Greater Vienna area.
Key aspects of the tender:
- this is the call for bids for one nationwide multiplex-network with the option to regionalise and a second call for bids for additional regional/local networks (both platform + transmitter-network).
- The network should be optimised in the use of frequencies - that means SFN.
- The proposer needs also a concept which is involving the broadcasters for advertising of DAB+ in public
- Selected Criterias if there is more than one candidate
- The ensemble should be diversible in opinions and a local content is prefered against global in the case of regional/local radio stations.
- The time for building the network is limited:
- nationwide: 50% of residents within one year; 75% within three years and 90% within five years.
- regional/local: an accumulation > 50,000 residents; 50% of residents within one year; 75% within two years and 100% within three years.
- The call for tenders ends on June, 12th 2017.
- The association Digitalradio Austria is happy to provide further information for potential suppliers.
Austrian telecommunications regulator RTR has committed to provide four million euros from its digitisation fund to support the introduction of DAB+ digital radio in Austria.
ORS comm has received a DAB+ trial licence and began broadcasting DAB+ test transmissions on May 28th 2015. The trial has been supported by Digital Radio Austria (Verein Digitalradio Österreich).
Two transmitters are operating as a single frequency network, with one transmitting a 10kW signal. This test mode was originally scheduled to last 10 months from May 28th 2015. However Vienna’s DAB+ testing period has been extended by one year by media regulator KommAustria. All but one of the stations that have been on the test multiplex will continue for the entire test period, which started in May 2015 with 15 stations.
Austria is committed to a digital radio future and a report by the regulators, the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and RTR-GmbH recommended DAB+ in Band III as the way forward. As planned, KommAustria completed a call for interest regarding DAB+ in August 2012. KommAustria intended to launch DAB+ by an open call for tender regarding the DAB+ network if enough parties showed believable and sustainable interest. A minimum limit of 12 possible programs (to fill one MUX coverage) was set. This limit was not reached as too few parties showed interest or failed to meet the criteria of the call for interest. Most remarkably, the public broadcaster ORF and the bigger players in the Austrian market did not show interest but strongly voiced their opposition against the launch of DAB+ in Austria.
There is a group of broadcasters who are very outspoken in favour of DAB+, but the majority of radio stations remain unsure. The public broadcaster ORF has recently renewed its objection to any DAB+ plans. On May 1 2013, the Regulation of the Austrian Communications Authority “Digitalisation Concept” decided that a tender procedure for multiplex mode the corresponding coverages will be launched once the authority presented a vested interest in digital radio and a sustainable approach. There will be no further calls for interest but the possibility for a call for tender upon request.
Nevertheless a working group that was created in 2009 to consider the countries digital future is still at work. It's members are stakeholders from the Austrian radio market who represent opponents and proponents of digital radio. It consists of the regulatory authority, the public broadcaster ORF, the commercial and non-commercial broadcasters associations, the electronic industry and consumer associations. The group is constantly watching and evaluating the progress of digital radio in other European countries. The success of digital radio in Germany will have an impact on whether Austria decides to implement DAB+.
New club aims to establish digital radio in Austria
The Austrian Association of the Electrical and Electronic Industry (FEEI), the university of applied sciences FH Technikum Wien and Austrian radio stations such as Radio Arabella and LoungeFM have founded the digital radio club, Digital Radio Austria. The aim of the new organisation is the promotion and development of digital radio in Austria, developing the media category “Radio” in the digital media world, the establishment of radio on new platforms and to promote the provision of information and support for education and training in the field of electronic and new media.
Success factors for the introduction of DAB+ in Austria
It is stated at the outset that this point should not be a condition which speaks for or against a terrestrial digitisation of the radio, since this is a fundamental media policy decision - for the media and business location Austria. The following are some points that would promote the ecosystem of digital terrestrial radio:
- Active will of the Federal Government to digitise terrestrial radio broadcasting as the last media genre, which has not yet been able to experience terrestrial digitisation in Austria. Thus securing the media and economic location of Austria in order to create non-disruptive, non-Austrian offers. Solving the frequency problem, coordinating with the neighboring countries, and the economic use of the existing broadcasting systems with an active decision for a terrestrial digitisation of the radio broadcast.
- New programming possibilities for private radio operators. More than two programs are to be made available by an organizer. The number is intended to regulate the market and for a further development of the radio, a maximum of two programmes must be given by one organiser.
- New possibilities for public broadcasters. In addition to the national programs of public-law audiovisual broadcasting, max. 2 other nationwide, non-regionalisable, advertising-free (!) Programs are made possible.
- Change of ORF-G, PrR-G and AMD-G with regard to the possibilities offered by the program and service providers (programs, data, additional services, etc.).
- Promotion of program providers from the digitisation fund for the time of the simulcast. The increase in the allocation of the digitisation fund from currently EUR 500 TSD p.a. To EUR 1.2 million p.a .. Prioritisation of the digitisation fund for the agendas of the digitisation of terrestrial radio broadcasting.
- Compulsory equipment for newly registered vehicles from 2017 with DAB+ enabled terminals (traffic safety). The need of TPEG-Services is evident.
- From 2017 onwards, each newly-placed radio receiver intended for terrestrial reception must be capable of receiving digital signals corresponding to a standard of a recognised European standard organisation.
Last update: 18-08-2015 - older versions
The application for a test phase will foresee one year, with the possibility of an additional second year. After this test phase, a rollout from the east to the west of Austria is intended to start.
Coverage of the trial multiplex currently on air
Coverage in the North
Coverage in the South
Coverage in the East
Coverage in the West
Last update: 06-04-2017 - older versions
In this country there is
- Regional multiplex: 1 Trial
One trial multiplex is in operation in Vienna. In Vienna the digital radio pilot project currently on air has space allocated for 17 stations. There are currently 15 DAB+ services on air. Two slots are expected to remain unused for the time being. On April 3 2017, the media authority KommAustria extended the existing digital radio test operation in Vienna and its surrounding area by another year.
|Simulcast on AM / FM||Exclusive on digital||Total of services|
Last update: 03-02-2017 - older versions
Cum. receiver sales ~400.000 (incl. line fit automotive)
Last update: 29-08-2017 - older versions
Cum. receiver sales ~500.000 (incl. line fit automotive) since 2013.
Nearly three months after the launch of DAB+ services in Vienna, Gernot Fischer, Managing Director of Digitalradio Austria emphasised in an interview with Der Standard in August 2015 the added value of DAB+. He reported that the estimated number of receiver sales to date is approximately 255,000 (excl. internet sales and in-car receivers), thanks to the strong collaboration with retail. Read the article
Last update: 18-05-2016 - older versions
Current Trial on air
In Vienna, DAB+ is being tested in a pilot project for ten months until 01 April 2016. The pilot project was approved by the broadcasting regulator, KommAustria. The multiplex platform operator ORS comm GmbH & Co KG is able to test transmission capacities on "VIENNA 8 (Liesing) channel 11D", "Wien 9 (DC Tower 1) channel 11D" and "Wien 8 (Liesing) channel 12B". Items which are to be tested in the pilot project are, for example, switching between two frequency blocks (11D and 12B) and their impact on the recipient.
Two DAB trials ended in 2008. One began in 1999 in the capital Vienna and covered up to 1.73 million people, the other one started in 2000 in the federal state of Tyrol (two sites near the capital of Innsbruck) and covered round about 295,000 people, approximately 40% of the Tyrolian population. The two trials were run by the public broadcaster ORF, with only ORF programs transmitted. About 19% of Austria’s population was covered by a T-DAB signal.
In 2011 the network operator ORS GmbH, a 60% subsidiary of the ORF, made plans to launch a DAB+ trial in 2012 but stopped the project in autumn 2011.
The trial that ended in 2008 included three transmitters in Vienna on Channel 12B. The multiplex featured classical music, Radio Wien (local station), pop music and FM4 pop music (all by ORF). The Austrian public broadcaster ORF was also awarded a DAB digital radio trial licence for the Federal State of Tyrol. ORF set up two DAB digital radio transmitters in Tyrol, covering the Inn Valley between Kufstein and the Brenner Mountain (Channel 12C). Ö1, Ö3, FM4 and the regional station Radio Tyrol, were available on the multiplex. This meant that there was continuous DAB coverage between South Germany and Northern Italy.
These tests have taken place behind closed doors.
Last update: 18-11-2015 - older versions
The market is regulated by the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and by the Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH, RTR) that provides operational support for KommAustria.
Austria is committed to a digital radio future and a report by the regulators, the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) and RTR-GmbH recommended DAB+ in Band III as the way forward. A working group was created in 2009 and its members are stakeholders from the Austrian radio market who represent opponents and proponents of digital radio. It consists of the regulatory authority, the public broadcaster ORF, the commercial and non-commercial broadcasters associations, the electronic industry and consumer associations. The group is watching and evaluating the progress of digital radio in other European countries.
Last update: 18-05-2016 - older versions
The association 'Digital Radio Austria' is an initiative to develop the media genre radio, which is supported by the Association of the electrical and electronics industry, together with research institutions, private radio operators, manufacturers and dealers. The club members have set themselves the goal of establishing digital radio in Austria. For more information please visit, http://www.digitalradio-oesterreich.com/.
Mobile technology 5G as a future for digital radio13.03.2018 - Austria -
Radio Days Europe programme confirmed22.02.2018 - Austria -
DAB +: regular operation should start nationwide in 201907.02.2018 - Austria -
RTR has awarded first DAB+ licence19.12.2017 - Austria -
11 DAB+ radio programs will start in 2018 in Vienna16.12.2017 - Austria -
DAB+ programs coming to Austria in 201815.12.2017 - Austria -
Geneva Touring/S, Geneva Touring/M und Geneva Touring/L13.12.2017 - Austria -
First speakers announced for Radiodays Europe 201824.10.2017 - Austria -
First speakers for Radiodays Europe 201819.10.2017 - Austria -
Applications submitted for regional and national DAB+ in Austria08.08.2017 - Austria -
|Status:||trial and/or regulation|
|Receiver sales (cumulative):||500,000 devices|
|Total Sales (cumulative):||500,000 devices|
|Penetration by household:||13%|
|Penetration by population:||6%|
Last update: 29.08.2017
Useful LinksDigital Radio Oesterreich
Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria)
Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH
The Telekom-Control Commission - an independent authority