Last update: 11-01-2017 - older versions

The Spanish DAB Association (Asociación Foro de la Radio Digital), comprising both national private and public broadcasters, is responsible for DAB/DAB+ in Spain.

Spain first began broadcasting terrestrial digital radio in April 1998 covering Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. From 2002 to June 2011, 23 transmitters covered the 52% of the Spanish population through three national multiplexes (1 SFN and 2 MFN). In addition, in some Comunidades Autónomas, DAB services were launched on additional regional multiplexes, but  they are currently switched off.

The Council of Ministers reached an agreement on Digital Radio in June 2011 and approved a Digitalisation Plan for Terrestrial Broadcasting with the following measures:

  • Reduction of DAB coverage from 52% to 20%, in order to facilitate a migration to DAB+
  • Flexibility for the broadcasters, in order to allow for migration to DAB+ 
  • Study of a possible reassignment of the multiplexes 
  • Promotional activities through the Spanish DAB Forum 
  • DAB+ trials 
  • A study of the necessary conditions to determine the date of  a possible analogue switch off

Last update: 10-07-2015 - older versions

Due to the enforcement of the Digitalization Plan for Terrestrial Broadcasting, DAB services are on air only in Madrid and Barcelona including their metropolitan areas, covering 20% of the Spanish population.

The migration from DAB to DAB+ has not been carried out.

Last update: 10-07-2015 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

A total of 18 DAB and 1 DAB+ audio services are on air, but enhanced features as text, images or programme guides are not available.

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB programmes 18 0 18
DAB+ programmes 1 0 1

Last update: 10-07-2015 - older versions

Some manufacturers (mainly premium) offer DAB/DAB+ receivers as an OEM extra.

Manufacturer Model Type Price (euros)
Mercedes-Benz E Class DAB/DAB+/DMB receiver 505.78
BMW 5 Series DAB receiver 451.32
Mini All DAB receiver N/A
Audi A6 DAB receiver 475
Porsche 911 DAB receiver 543
Wolkswagen Passat DAB/DAB+ receiver 220
Seat León DAB receiver 200

Last update: 15-06-2016 - older versions

There are a few DAB receivers available with some retailers.  Since DAB digital radio is not being promoted to the consumer at this time, digital radio receiver sales are not being measured and are presumed to be virtually non-existent.

Mobile Phones

The world's first smartphone with DAB/DAB+ digital radio built in, is available in Spain. More information available here.

Last update: 10-07-2015 - older versions

Spanish Broadcaster Radio Maria ( started DAB+ test transmissions in Madrid and Barcelona on 2014 December 30th,.

This is the first time DAB+ has been used for radio broadcasting in Spain. This DAB/DAB+ network is operated by the Broadcast Network Operator Cellnex Telecom.

Last update: 10-07-2015 - older versions

The Spanish DAB Association comprising of both national private and public broadcasters are responsible for DAB/DAB+ regulation in Spain.

National station licenses are issued by the central government, while local and regional licenses are the responsibility of the regional government. Licenses are valid for 10 years with an automatic renewal for a further 10 years and operators must commit to the promotion of DAB digital radio. Advertising and sponsorship are permitted under the same rules which exist for analogue radio, and data is permitted on up to 20% of multiplex capacity.

Digital terrestrial broadcasting is allowed by law in Band III

There are three layers of services set out by law:

  • National, with 1 SFN multiplex and 2 MFN multiplexes
  • Regional (Comunidad Autónoma basis), with 1/3 SFN multiplex (nowadays without transmissions) and 2/3 MFN multiplex (not implemented)
  • Local, with 237 areas covered by different frequency blocks in Band III

Nowadays, due to the entry into force of the Digitalization Plan for Terrestrial Broadcasting, DAB services are on air only in Madrid and Barcelona including their metropolitan areas. The DAB services have a bit rate of 160 kbps, with the exception of Radio Nacional (192 kbps), Radio 3 (192 kbps), Radio 5 (192 kbps) and Radio Clasica (224 kbps).

American lobbies could derail the digitisation of radio in Europe
18.11.2015 - Spain - Spain
The only way to maintain terrestrial sound broadcasting with the same characteristics it has today without losing their identity; universal and free, remains DAB/DAB+. If anyone thinks that online radio could fill this gap, at least for now, is quite wrong.
From Gorka Zumeta:

DAB not closed in Spain
24.08.2015 - Spain - Spain
In response to a recent article on the situation of DAB in Spain, Gorka Zumeta argues that DAB in Spain is still very much an current issue.
From Gorka Zumeta:

Rebirth of digital radio in Europe
WorldDAB News - 21.05.2015 - Spain - Spain
Broadcasters and automakers gathered together at the WorldDMB European Automotive Event in Brussels to discuss the role that the automotive industry plays in the development of digital radio. Broadcasters asked the European Commission to ensure sufficient spectrum for the provision of digital radio in the belief that the Band III should remain the band dedicated to digital radio in Europe.
From Panorama Audiovisiual:

The new Civic, advance in the renewal of the Honda range
06.04.2015 - Spain - Spain
Just one of the main innovations of the 2015 Japanese compact is the inclusion of the information and audio system on-board Honda Connect, compatible with the Android 4.0.4 operating system. It has an integrated AM/FM and DAB Digital Radio System and radio over the internet.

Commission Opens In-Depth Investigation On Spanish Compensation For Digital ...
26.04.2012 - Spain - Spain
The broadcasting sector has undergone in the past years major changes as a result of the introduction of digital technologies. The switch from analogue to digital broadcasting led to a more efficient use of radio frequencies and resulted in a partial ...
From eGov monitor:

EU investigates Spanish aid for broadcasters going digital
26.04.2012 - Spain - Spain
On Wednesday the European Commission announced that it is opening an in-depth investigation into Spanish state aid to broadcasters aimed at maximizing the so-called "digital dividend." Under the recently approved Radio Spectrum Policy Program (RSPP), ...
From PC Advisor:

WorldDMB launch of Business Case Scenarios Report demonstrates digital radio is on the money!
WorldDAB News - 16.03.2012 - Spain - Spain
The WorldDMB Business Case Scenarios Report was launched today at Radiodays, the biggest annual radio event in Europe. During the session ‘Going for a digital future’ Patrick Hannon, VP Corporate Development at chip manufacturer Frontier Silicon presented the case that there is now compelling evidence that digital radio enables new revenue generation opportunities and that broadcasters need to proactively exploit these to ensure that they stay competitive in the market place.

DMB/DAB+ on Air During Radio Days Europe
15.03.2012 - Spain - Spain
Spanish network provider Abertis Telecom and Dutch infrastructure specialist Broadcast Partners have partnered with WorldDMB and International DMB Advancement Group (IDAG) to provide live mobile TV and digital radio during Radio Days Europe 2012 in Barcelona, one of the the world’s biggest radio conferences with over 800 delegates attending.

Samsung, IDAG present Galaxy WiFi 5.0
28.02.2012 - Spain - Spain
Both companies see consumers spending more and more time on mobile entertainment and news and believe the new services will widen the appeal of the phone among audiences. The radio and TV experience is based on DMB/DAB . Digital radio via DAB/DAB or ...
From Telecompaper (subscription):

Abertis Telecom launches its latest network infrastructure used to carry out demonstrations of DMB Mobile TV and DAB and DAB digital radio
27.02.2012 - Spain - Spain
· The official mobile television network provider for the seventh year running, abertis telecom will deploy the network infrastructure used to carry out demonstrations of DMB Mobile TV and DAB and DAB digital radio. · The new features to be launched ...
From 4-traders:

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 46.4 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 20%
Services: 18 DAB, 1 DAB+
Last update: 10.07.2015

Useful Links

DAB Barcelona
Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism
Cellnex Telcom