Switzerland

Last update: 18-06-2018 - older versions

From 2020 onwards the Swiss radio industry plans to gradually phase out analogue FM radio broadcasting and to use DAB+ instead as the main broadcasting technology. In June 2018, Switzerland's Digital Migration working group (DigiMig) called for the country to switch off FM services from 2021, with completion a year later, as a result of ongoing growth in digital radio services. The working group states that current DAB+ service gaps will be eliminated by 2021, with a new national timetable for switchover to be published in 2019.​

In order to provide support for this switchover, the Swiss OFCOM launched an information campaign in 2017. Since mid-2017 a range of information campaigns under the banner "Radio is changing" have been running on radio, television, the print media and billboards. More information on DAB+ can be found on the DABPlus website.

The “Digital Migration” Working Group (DigiMig WG) has representatives from the Swiss Association of Private Radios (Verband Schweizer Privatradios - VSP), the Union Romande des Radios Régionales (RRR), the Union of Non-Commercial Local Radios (Unikom), the SRG SSR, OFCOM, the car industry and other industry circles.

Today, the public broadcaster SRG and most private radio stations broadcast their radio programme services via DAB+ in parallel with FM and some even broadcast exclusively in digital format.

Last update: 21-11-2017 - 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. The coverage of highway tunnels will be finished in 2018/2019.

By the end of 2019, the coverage of the Swiss population should be 99.7%.

In Autumn 2017, the performance of the following channels was increased:
• Bülach, Eschenmosen (Rotzibuch)
• Solothurn (Oberdorf Nesselboden)
• Geuensee, Hoechweidwald
• La Dôle, Gingins Barillette
• Lauterbrunnen Male
• Beatenberg Niederhorn
• Welschenrohr Räckholderhubel
The latest commissioning is published as news on www.broadcast.ch.

Further resources

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: 16-04-2018 - older versions

85% of new cars in Switzerland now with DAB+ as standard

According to an analysis conducted on behalf of OFCOM some 290,000 vehicles were sold in 2017 had a DAB+ device already fitted (280,000 units) or had one retrofitted (8,200). The number of vehicles equipped with DAB+ as standard has increased sharply: at the end of 2016 the figure was 66 percent, whereas a year later it had reached 85 percent. Furthermore, for the first time the number of DAB+-enabled vehicles reached the one million mark.

Further analysis available here.  

 

Last update: 06-09-2018 - older versions

DAB+ receiver usage now 63%

Digital radio usage increased again by 2 percentage points from autumn 2017 to spring 2018 to 63%. This was announced by the working group DigiMig (Digital Migration) during Swiss Radioday on 29 August 2018.

Just under 600,000 DAB+ radios sold in 2017

In 2017 almost 600,000 DAB+ radios were sold. 85% of all new vehicles sold are now fitted as standard with a DAB+ radio. According to studies available to OFCOM, a total of 3.5 million devices are in circulation.

According to the six-monthly surveys conducted by the GfK research institute among almost all electronics dealers, a total of 304,000 DAB+ radios were sold in 2017. In addition, according to an analysis conducted on behalf of OFCOM some 290,000 vehicles sold in 2017 had a DAB+ device already fitted (280,000 units) or had one retrofitted (8200). The number of vehicles equipped as standard with DAB+ radios has increased sharply: at the end of 2016 the figure was 66% whereas a year later it had reached 85%. Furthermore, for the first time the number of DAB+-enabled vehicles reached the one million mark.

 

For further information, key stats https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage/electronic-media/technology/digital-transmission/radio-use-in-switzerland-digital-radio-overtakes-fm.html

Last update: 01-07-2015 - older versions

In June 2012 Swiss importers of Audi, BMW and Mini fitted with DAB+ car radios participated in digital radio tunnel tests. The trials, which serve to benefit Switzerland as well as its neighbours, tested the capacity of the digital radios as well as the capability to interrupt broadcasts with emergency travel information. The Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR carried out the experiments in collaboration with the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), SwissMediaCast and various manufacturers.

Last update: 26-09-2018 - older versions

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.

Commercial radio and media companies in the German part of Switzerland were granted 8 licences in summer
2007. SwissMediaCast AG was granted a licence to broadcast on Channel 7D and 9A by Swiss Ofcom (the regulator). SMC AG running the first commercial DAB+ multiplex in German-speaking Switzerland.

From 2020, regional radio stations which cover conurbations should benefit from greater autonomy by no longer being subject to a licensing system including a performance mandate. This proposal is included in the revised Radio and Television Ordinance (RTVO) which the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is putting out for consultation from 16 February 2017. The new text, which deals with radio broadcasting, also paves the way for the transition from FM to DAB+. 

 

Last update: 27-06-2018 - older versions

Marketing activities to support DAB+ in Switzerland began in 2006.

Tender for new information campaign

The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) issued an invitation to tender for a four-year DAB+ information campaign beginning in 2019 in order for the population to be able to prepare for the migration of the broadcasting of radio programme services from FM to DAB+ in good time. In this way the Federal Office is supporting the radio industry, which will increasingly broadcast programme services digitally via DAB+ networks and switch off its FM stations in a few years.

Current campaign

On World Radio Day 2017, OFCOM launched a promotional campaign to "support the transition to the new DAB+ digital broadcasting standard". The campaign highlights how 54% of listeners in Switzerland now listen to digital radio. The advertising agency Republica AG was awarded the campaign. 

Radio spots and new website

World Radio Day, February 13, 2017, marked the start of the preliminary phase of the quadrilingual campaign which will move the radio in an emblematic way to move from the analogous standard to the digital standard. Entitled "La radio déménage", the campaign will feature the first radio spots on many radio programmes.

The new DAB+ website www.dabplus.ch and various social media channels have been active online since early February 2017. The main objectives of the promotional campaign are to increase the awareness of DAB+, increase its use and promote the sale of DAB+ compatible devices. The campaign will be funded by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM). The budget of 4 million francs is financed in accordance with the Federal Law on Radio and Television (LRTV) by the quotas of the fee which have not been distributed in recent years to the organisers of regional or local programs.

DAB+ brochures for specialized retailers

The SSR offers DAB+ brochures and exhibitors free of charge to specialised dealers.

It is possible to order the quantity of brochures here. Promotion is valid until stocks are exhausted. Delivery takes place from the beginning of December 2017.

DAB+ at the Swiss Music Awards

DAB+ was present as a partner of the Swiss Music Awards in Zurich. A photo operation drew attention to this new digital broadcasting standard. The musicians will also be the ambassadors since they will show that their music also moves on DAB+. In addition, the first content of the campaign will be shared via social media and with hashtags #DABplus and # LaRadioDemenage.

Switzerland:  national marketing campaign to promote DAB+
To support the transition to DAB+, the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) launched an information campaign. It issued a public invitation to tender to appoint an agency to set up such a campaign at the national level. Aims of the campaign are to raise awareness, encourage listening and increase the number of radio stations broadcast via DAB+ in households and in vehicles. The campaign will run throughout 2017 and 2018, with a budget of 4 million francs for the two years.  The award decision was in November 2016 and the campaign began in early 2017.

Previous campaigns

The successful ‘Digital radio. Better radio. With DAB+’ campaign was continued in 2013. The campaign included TV ads, radio set promotions, online promotion and the use of social media. The multi-platform campaign which was a first of its kind in Switzerland, ran on television, radio, posters, digitally (website, banners and as interstitial ads on smartphones), as well as on Facebook and YouTube social media. A broad range of activities on the part of private and public radio stations alike supported the innovative campaign.

This campaign was followed by transmedia campaign ‘DAB+ Jack Parker’.

Automotive sector marketing includes a new digital radio flyer and demo ad. The flyer is offered to car dealers and retailers as information for customers. It contains a QR code which, when scanned, takes the user straight to the demo ad, where they can experience outstanding DAB+ sound quality for themselves. MCDT, the Swiss digital radio marketing agency, works closely with manufacturers, importers, the trade and automotive manufacturers to provide technical information, run marketing campaigns and hold events to bring automotive manufacturers and dealers together to promote digital radio.

 

Last update: 11-09-2017 - 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. MCDT, the Swiss digital radio marketing agency, is working closely with automotive manufacturers to provide technical information, run marketing campaigns and hold events to bring automotive manufacturers and dealers together to promote digital radio.

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

Switzerland: increased financial support for local radio
26.09.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
About two thirds of the additional resources (8.4 million francs) go to the 13 regional televisions holding a concession, and a good third to the 21 radio rights holders. With regard to the planned amount for radio, 85% goes to commercial radio stations in the peripheral and mountain regions, and 15% to non-commercial supplementary radios.
From La Lettre Pro:

Increased funding for Swiss radio as part of DAB+ transition
25.09.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
The Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) in Switzerland will increase the financial support for licensed local radio stations and regional TV by CHF 13.5 million as of 1 January, totalling CHF 81 million as a result of a decision taken in 2017. The decision will also extend the licences of regional radio stations, as part of the DAB+ transition in Switzerland.
From InfoSat:

DAB+ coverage to increase in Swiss tunnels
18.09.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
Tunnels in the Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland are set to receive DAB+ signals, with the motorway between Ticino and Mesolcina already covered, while tests are running between Airolo and Chiasso and in the canton of Grisons. All services should be ready for full transmissions by the end of November.
From Ticino Online:

New voice-controlled hybrid radio unveiled at IBC2018
WorldDAB Members News - 14.09.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - Switzerland - Switzerland
The world's first voice-controlled hybrid radio was unveiled at IBC2018 last Friday. An initiative between European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the NAB's PILOT innovation initiative. "“Radio reaches 85 percent of European citizens every week, overwhelmingly through free-to-air broadcast FM and DAB+. But smart speakers and other voice-controlled devices are becoming an important platform for innovation in radio. By demonstrating that combining the best of broadcast and the internet generates value for both content producers and audiences, the EBU and NAB are working to ensure that the vital role of radio and its benefits for communities and societies are maintained,” said Ben Poor, EBU project manager.
From All Access:

German-speaking Swiss DAB+ station expands further in country's south-east
WorldDAB Members News - 08.09.2018 - SRG SSR - Switzerland - Switzerland
German-speaking Swiss station Radio Südostschweiz has expanded its DAB+ reception area to the canton of Graubünden and the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino.
From Radiowoche:

The "Swiss Radio Player" is live
WorldDAB Members News - 30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland - Switzerland - Switzerland
As announced in May, the Association of Swiss Private Radio (VSP), Unikom and Radio Régionales Romandes (RRR) have launched the Swiss Radio Player on the occasion of Swiss Radio Day, with about 130 stations to be available on the app. The three associations together with the SRG each have a 25 percent share.
From Radiowoche:

63 percent of radio usage is now digital in Switzerland
WorldDAB Members News - 30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland - Switzerland - Switzerland
Digital radio usage increased again by 2 percentage points from autumn 2017 to spring 2018 to 63 percent. This was announced by the working group DigiMig (Digital Migration) during Swiss Radioday on 29 August.
From Horizont:

Swiss Radioplayer is operational
WorldDAB Members News - 30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland - Switzerland - Switzerland
The Swiss Radioplayer app has launched and is broadcasting more than 130 radio stations. The app is an initiative between the Swiss Association of Private Radio Stations (VSP), Union of Local Non-commercial Radio Stations (Unikom) and the Regional Radio Union of France (NRR) as well as the SSR, with each party holding 25% of the shares.
From La Liberté:

63 percent of radio listening is now digital in Switzerland
WorldDAB Members News - 30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland - Switzerland - Switzerland
Digital listening in Switzerland increased by 14 percentage points to 63% from autumn 2015 to spring 2018, according to a new report by broadcast regulator OFCOM Switzerland. The findings also showed a 14% drop in FM listening, with the regulator citing DAB+ as the key driver towards the increase in digital listening.
From OFCOM Switzerland:

The Swiss Radioplayer is launched
WorldDAB Members News - 30.08.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland - SRG SSR - Switzerland - Switzerland
The Swiss Association of Private Radio Stations have launched a Radioplayer app on 30 August. The three associations ASRP, Unikom and RRR, together with the SSR, announced that the app would take place in May, and was launched as part of Swiss Radio Day.
From Presse Portal Switzerland:

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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 85%
Total Sales (cumulative): 3,609,000 devices
Last update: 30.10.2018

Useful Links

dabplus.ch
Swissmediacast.ch
Digimig DSO papers (in English)
Broadcast.ch