Sweden

Last update: 01-03-2019 - older versions

Commercial DAB+ digital radio stations will be broadcast from January 2019

In October 2018 the commercial radio broadcaster Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group), together with partners DB Media AB and Skärgårdsradion AB announced to the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority (MPRT) that they will begin to broadcast a total of 15 radio stations using DAB+ from January 1, 2019. Subsequent to that announcement, the start of these broadcasts will be delayed by some months. More information on the regulator's website here

DAB transmissions in Sweden started in 1995 and today coverage is 35% of the population with services from public service broadcaster Swedish Radio (SR) and commercial radio. The licence under which SR operates is valid until 31 December 2019 and commercial broadcasters operates under licenses that are valid until September 2022.

As a result, the decisions about the digitalization of radio in Sweden remains to be taken. The Government have said that the question could be re-opened, depending on the development of digital radio in the rest of Europe – especially experiences from the switchover in neighbouring Norway.

 

Last update: 29-03-2019 - older versions

The Swedish DAB network (mux 1) is operated by Teracom AB and covers the cities Stockholm, Södertälje, Uppsala, Enköping, Luleå, Malmö and Göteborg using a multi-frequency network on frequencies 12C and 12B. The coverage of mux 1 is currently 41.8% of the population or about 3 million people. 

Mux 1 holds 8-10 regular and licensed services, all from Swedish Radio. All services in mux 1 are currently broadcast in DAB. All audio services hold DLS.

The Swedish DAB+ network (mux 2) is operated by Teracom AB under a specific test license and covers major cities Stockholm, Uppsala and Gävle using a multi-frequency network on frequencies 12C and 12D. Coverage reaches 22% of the population or about 2 million people. Mux 2 currently holds 9 pilot services from several major broadcasters (MTG radio and SBS radio), as well as some local community radios. All services in mux 2 are broadcasted in DAB+. All audio services hold DLS and SLS.

Please visit the Teracom website  for coverage maps.

Last update: 01-04-2019 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

Mux1: 10 DAB audio channels from public service broadcaster Swedish Radio, including event channels that are only broadcast at specific months/weeks. In total there are 6-7 DAB services on air at any given time, one of which is simulcast on FM. Most of the other DAB channels are available online, but not broadcast on FM. All audio channels carry DLS and Slideshow. In addition, a trial version of TPEG is being broadcast.

Event channels

  • Christmas channel
  • Summer channel
  • Eurovision song contest channel
  • Classical music channel

Mux 2: 9 DAB+ audio channels from the major commercial radio groups, including NENT and Bauer Media. Four of them simulcast on FM nationwide. The rest of the DAB+ channels are available online, or very locally on FM. One channel, Lugna Favoriter, is only available online, and not broadcast on FM. All audio channels carry DLS and Slideshow. In addition, a trial version of TPEG is being broadcast.

Future Services on Air

The Swedish Broadcast Authority have announced licenses for commercial digital radio. A total of 25 stations have been awarded a license. 21 of which are national licenses and four are regional stations. 12 of the national stations are unique to digital radio and not broadcast on FM. The licensing allows for a significant increase in range of stations throughout Sweden.

Licenses will be valid from 2nd October 2014 until 30th September 2022 and broadcasting is to begin no later than 1st October 2015.  

More information is available here. Private radio has asked for permission to delay the launch.

Feature of services on air in Sweden

“P4 Bjällerklang” is a pop-up station playing “the most beloved and popular Christmas songs” in both familiar and unexpected versions, around the clock on digital radio (DAB) and on the web. The channel exists in December and January and is now broadcasting for the fifth year in a row. This is a good example of a pop-up station that uses the flexibility of the DAB/DAB+ standard to meet occasional listener demands.

“Knattekanalen” is a children’s station playing “new music mixed with familiar
songs and children’s pop from all times”. The channel broadcast in DAB and on the web each day
from six o’clock in the morning till eight at night. Children and their parents know that when they want to listen to children’s programs, there is always something on.



 

 

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB programmes 1 9 10
DAB+ programmes 8 1 9
Data services 0 2 2
Total91221

Last update: 30-09-2014 - older versions

There is no official data on the sales of DAB/DAB+ car tuners in Sweden. However, all major brands such as Volvo, Volkswagen, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Mini, Mitsubishi, Skoda, Land Rover, Mercedes and Honda offer DAB/DAB+ car tuners as an option.

Volvo Cars, with a 20% total market share in Sweden, have stated that in about 7% of the cases where a new Volvo is sold, the customer has requested the optional DAB/DAB+ tuner.

Last update: 14-07-2015 - older versions

Sales in 2013 were 15,000 receivers which means the accumulated sales 2006-2013 is 37,000 receivers.

27,000 of these units are dated from 2012 and onwards, i.e. capable of DAB+ decoding. In comparison the 15,000 units sold per year is almost 4% of the total sales in Home and Portable Audio segment.

Given the estimated 27,000 DAB+ units, the household penetration in Sweden today is appoximately 1%.  

 

Last update: 30-09-2014 - older versions

In 2009, pilot transmissions of DAB+ started and the coverage quickly reached 22% of the population with 16 trial services from public service radio, commercial radio and community local radio.

Last update: 24-10-2018 - older versions

Regulation and Spectrum
Key features of regulation for digital radio regulation in Sweden are;

  • Band III 
  • One MUX in big cities only
  • Switch-off date is to be set for analogue radio migration to DAB+
  • Cost of parallel transmission on analogue and digital to be supported by the Government
  • Industry co-ordinator has been appointed by the government to assure a transition by 2022

Regulation for Commercial Radio

In October 2012, all major commercial broadcasters applied for a total of 22 licences in both national and regional VHF Band III networks. The licenses for digital commercial radio are valid from September 2, 2014 to September 20, 2022. There are currently 25 licenses. All license holders have hitherto requested suspension with the broadcast start and referred to the uncertainty about whether there is a transition from analogue to digital radio and when such a possible transition can occur. Bauer Media AB, NRJ Sweden AB and Norrköping Radio & Co AB have requested further suspension with the launch. MPRT has granted them suspension until January 1, 2020 and adjusted the condition of phase expansion. MRTV have stated that there will be no requirements on bit rate per service. However, the maximum number of services per commercial multiplex will be 16. The commercial license holders are obliged to co-operate in technical matters including choice of network operator. Coverage requirements may be imposed to ensure that the digital broadcasts reach a certain proportion of the population within the broadcasting area.

Regulation for Public Service Radio

The public service broadcaster, Swedish Radio (SR), gets their license directly from the Government. The license period is six years with the current license valid until 31 December 2019 and allows Swedish Radio to broadcast digital radio using DAB/DAB+ in VHF Band III, but only to four regions in Sweden (Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Norrbotten) and with a maximum number of nine services (Stockholm and Norrbotten) or 10 (Gothenburg and Malmo). 

Spectrum for DAB/DAV+ digital radio

At the spectrum conference GE-2006 Sweden was awarded a total spectrum equivalent to of 4 nationwide DAB/DAB+ multiplexers in Band III. Three of the four multiplexes are MFNs (making regional insertion possible up to the maximum of 34 available frequency layers). In 2010 the Swedish Government awarded two of the four multiplexers (spectrum-wise) to public service radio and remaining two multiplexers to commercial radio.

Applications for licenses

Anyone who wants to broadcast digital commercial radio must apply for a licence with MPRT when such is advertised. A licence to broadcast digital commercial radio entails the right to broadcast a programming service (channel) within the broadcasting area specified in the licence. In an application process, applicants submit their application to the Authority, which then assesses it based on the criteria stated in the Swedish Radio and Television Act. More info here.

Last update: 30-09-2014

Sweden has an Emergency Warning System using FM/RDS (PTy31) to send an alert flag making it possible for receivers and transmitters to change audio to the emergency channel, Swedish Radios channel P4. It is not unlikely that this feature will be imposed on a digital system. 

National Audit Report: It feels like the Soviet Union in the 50's
15.04.2015 - Sweden - Sweden
Staffan Rosell, president of Discovery SBS Radio is the largest player in the commercial radio market, is very surprised at the Swedish National Audit conclusions. "The National Audit takes the side of digital opponents... One gets the feeling that they only received information from one side of the debate" he said to Dagens Media.
From Dagensmedia:

"Time to get up from the trenches
15.04.2015 - Sweden - Sweden
The National Audit Office's report is partially deficient, and did not favour debate on Swedish radio's future, writes Per G. Porvoo, Teracom AB. The National Audit review has been carried out especially from an economic perspective. It is a distinction that raises more questions than it provides answers. It gives unfortunately only space to answer some of the erroneous descriptions in the report.
From DN:

Radio investigation without understanding radio
WorldDAB Members News - 15.04.2015 - Digitalradio Norge AS - Sweden - Sweden - Norway - Norway
On Tuesday, the Swedish Audit Office presented its report on digital switchover. The report reviewed the technical and economic profitability of the digitisation of radio in Sweden and concluded that radio should remain on FM. The report ignores the significance of broadcasting radio believes Ole Jørgen Torvmark, CEO of Digital Radio Norway.
From Digitalradio Norge:

"Digital radio is good for motorists
02.04.2015 - Sweden - Sweden
The transition to digital radio can provide motorists many new services such as real-time information on accidents, slippery roads, closed roads and lanes, writes Olaf Meng, Garmin Europe and Petter Djerf, Mediamobile.
From NyTeknik:

Further boost for DAB+ digital radio in Sweden and Switzerland
WorldDAB News - 02.12.2014 - Sweden - Sweden - Switzerland - Switzerland
Just days after German public broadcaster ARD announced its commitment to a transition to DAB+, and weeks after Norway announced all criteria have been met for FM switch off in 2017, Sweden and Switzerland have published roadmaps for a digital switchover from FM to DAB+.
From WorldDMB:

Cilla Benkö on digital radio: “It’s high time politicians make their minds up”
01.12.2014 - Sweden - Sweden
“Swedish Radio is one of the most significant broadcasting corporations in Europe when it comes to creating content that has social impact. Swedish Radio plays a crucial role in a well-functioning democracy. Moreover, Sweden’s ambition is to be a leading IT-nation. In order to live up to these goals, we must see this crucial infrastructure project realised. Swedish Radio must get the resources necessary for a successful investment - and that is a decisions only politicians can make,” Swedish Radio’s director general Benkö says in her response to the study by the Swedish government’s digital radio coordinator, Nina Wormbs, into the transition from FM to Digital Audio Broadcasting.
From Sveriges Radio :

Roadmap to digitalize terrestrial radio in Sweden
01.12.2014 - Sweden - Sweden
The main purpose to digitalize is to further develop radio in Sweden and to maintain and modernize a critical information infrastructure able to reach every citizen. The plan consists of three parts: a mutual launch, extension of the licenses for commercial radio actors to broadcast analogue, and a conditional shutdown of FM transmissions. The full report (in Swedish) can be downloaded at www.regeringen.se/sb/d/18245/a/250902
From Regeringen:

FM is full and mobile broadband is not enough
01.12.2014 - Sweden - Sweden
Government industry coordinator, Nina Wormbs, hands over her plan for digitisation of Swedish radio later today to the Minister of Culture. Developed in collaboration with the radio industry, the report recommends the rollout of DAB+ and FM switch off by 2022. FM is full and in order for the radio sector to develop, more channels are needed. Swedish Radio has only four channels - Swedish commercial radio is basically a duopoly with little competition.
From Debatt:

Swedish Broadcasting Authority awards 25 licenses for commercial digital radio
WorldDAB Members News - 06.10.2014 - Teracom AB - Sweden - Sweden
The Swedish Broadcast Authority have announced licenses for commercial digital radio. A total of 25 channels have been awarded a license. 21 of which are national licenses and four are regional channels. 12 of the national channels are unique to digital radio and not broadcasted in FM. The licensing allows for a significant increase in range of programs throughout entire Sweden.
From Teracom:

25 DAB+ commercial licences granted in Sweden
02.10.2014 - Sweden - Sweden
Today, the Authority for Broadcasting in Sweden has granted six broadcasters 21 national and four local/regional licences to broadcast digital commercial radio. The licences will be valid from 2 October 2014 to 30 September 2022 with broadcasts to be started no later than 1 October 2015.
From Authority for Radio and Television:

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 9.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 41.8%
Services: 10 DAB, 9 DAB+, 2 Data
Last update: 01.04.2019

Useful Links

Digital commercial radio licensing - the Swedish Broadcasting Authority
Sveriges Radio
Teracom
Applications for DAB+ licenses - Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority (MPRT)