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).

Frequency details for DAB+/DMB trials at Mobile World Congress 2012 confirmed
WorldDAB News - 20.02.2012 - Spain - Spain
The frequency to be used to broadcast DAB+/ DMB signals at Mobile World Congress 2012 has been confirmed as being in block 9C in Band III corresponding to 206,352Mhz.

Digital broadcast signal DAB, DAB+ digital radio and DMB mobile TV on-air at Mobile World Congress 2012
WorldDAB News - 09.02.2012 - Spain - Spain
London, United Kingdom: A digital terrestrial broadcast signal DAB, DAB+, DMB for digital radio and mobile TV will be on air at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona, 27 February – 1 March.

Europe´s largest radio conference is coming to Barcelona!
20.01.2012 - Spain - Spain
At a press conference on Thursday 18th January in Barcelona, Spain it was officially announced that the Spanish and Catalan radio industry supports the 2012 Radiodays Europe event, the largest annual radio conference of its kind in Europe.

Radiodays Europe: New speakers announced for Barcelona
11.01.2012 - Spain - Spain
Some of the most prominent leaders and personalities in radio are in the international speaker line up for Radiodays Europe - the largest and most important radio conference in Europe. And yet there are still more speakers to be presented in the final programme, due to be release next week at a press conference in Barcelona.

Spain paves the way for DAB+
29.07.2011 - Spain - Spain
GENERAL PROVISIONS MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TOURISM AND TRADE 12913 Resolution of July 13, 2011, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society, which publishes the decision of the Council of Ministers of June 10, 2011 by approving the plan of digitizing terrestrial sound broadcasting service. The Council of Ministers at its meeting of June 10, 2011, approved the plan for digitization of terrestrial sound broadcasting service.

Radiodays Europe in Central Barcelona March 2012
15.07.2011 - Spain - Spain
Radiodays Europe, the largest annual radio conference in Europe, will next year take place at the heart of Barcelonas central Raval district on 15-16 March 2012.

Seat Digital Radio
20.07.2010 - Spain - Spain
Always keen to offer its drivers the very latest technology, SEAT is now making DAB radio available to Leon, Altea and Altea XL buyers via a new, ...
From ZerCustoms (blog):

VW Equiped by Antenna Systems of Ficosa
24.04.2008 - Spain - Spain
... DAB, TV (both analog or digital standards), telephone, RKE (Remote Key Entry), GPS and satellite radio combining the two exterior-mirrors The concept ...
From Ficosa:

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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