Switzerland

Last update: 08-04-2019 - 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.

Switzerland is on track to complete its digital switchover by 2024 at the latest. To that effect,  the FM switchoff date is set to be revealed at the 2019 Swiss Radio Days taking place in Zurich on 29 August.

Last update: 08-04-2019 - 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, including high way tunnels.  

The latest commissioning is published as news on www.broadcast.ch.

Further resources on DAB+ coverage in Switzerland

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: 08-04-2019 - older versions

91% of new cars in Switzerland now with DAB+ as standard

OFCOM surveys show that the proportion of new vehicles in which DAB+ reception is fitted as standard rose sharply again in 2018 and is now 91%, compared with 85% in the previous year. This means that the requirement that will apply in the European Union from the end of 2020, whereby every new passenger vehicle must be DAB+-capable, has almost already been met in Switzerland. And it is increasingly clear from the usage figures that more and more cars on Swiss roads are fitted with DAB+. In autumn 2018, for example, DAB+ accounted for 40 out of every 100 radio minutes listened to in a car, which means the DAB+ share has doubled within three years.

Further analysis available here.  

 

Last update: 08-04-2019 - older versions

Digital radio usage now 64%

At the end of 2018, use  of digital radio by Swiss citizens averaged 64 minutes per 100 radio minutes per day. Of this figure, 33% was accounted for by DAB+.

Just under 600,000 DAB+ radios sold in 2018

In 2017 almost 600,000 DAB+ radios were sold. 91% of all new vehicles sold are now fitted as standard with a DAB+ radio. According to studies available to OFCOM, a total of 4.2 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 286,200 DAB+ radios were sold in 2018. In addition, according to an analysis conducted on behalf of OFCOM some 303,000 vehicles sold in 2018 had a DAB+ device already fitted or had one retrofitted. The number of vehicles equipped as standard with DAB+ radios has increased sharply: at the end of 2016 the figure was 66%, followed by 85% at the end of 2017 and 91% at the end of 2018. 

For further information and key stats please visit: 
https://www.bakom.admin.ch/bakom/en/homepage/electronic-media/technology/digital-transmission/digimig.html

Last update: 06-03-2019 - 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: 08-04-2019 - 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. 

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 looks to prepone FM switchoff to 2021
16.06.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
DAB+ was the main topic of a forum organised by Switzerland's public broadcaster SRG on 4 June, where questions on FM switchoff were debated. President of digital working group Digimig Phillip Zahno stated that switchoff could happen as early as 2021, which was confirmed by SwissMediaCast.
From Gorkazumeta:

EBU delivers the A to Z of digital radio network planning
WorldDAB Members News - 15.06.2018 - European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - Switzerland - Switzerland
The knowledge available to those planning digital radio networks has been greatly enriched in recent years. Field studies carried out in several countries have contributed to a greater understanding of how DAB and DAB+ networks behave in the real world. A new EBU report, Tech 3391, brings together the latest guidance along with detailed information on deployments and tests in several countries.
From European Broadcasting Union:

DAB+ the focus of SRG industry forum
WorldDAB Members News - 11.06.2018 - SRG SSR - Switzerland - Switzerland
This year's SRG industry forum was all about DAB+ - with two questions firmly at hand: when will FM switch off, and what preparations have been made? Marco Derighetti of SRG and Philippe Zahno of the working group "Digital Migration" state the time is ripe for switchover.
From CE Today:

Switzerland and Italy move forward with digital plans
WorldDAB Members News - 11.06.2018 - RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana - Switzerland - Switzerland - Italy - Italy
Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office has announced that that radio systems in the motorway tunnels for the DAB+ digital radio reception will be expanded throughout Switzerland. In Rome, RAI Radio has announced the startup of two new DAB+ radio programmes in June, with RAI director Roberto Sergio reiterating the network's commitment to DAB+.
From Radio magazine:

DAB+ now in all tunnels of northeastern Switzerland
10.06.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
Installation of DAB+ radio has been completed in 27 tunnels in northeastern Switzerland.
From Digitalradiogeraete:

DAB+ now in all tunnels of northeastern Switzerland
09.06.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
In ​​northeastern Switzerland, work on 27 tunnels has been completed to install DAB+ receivers. This means that the DAB + reception on the highways in the cantons of Zurich, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, St. Gallen and Glarus, as well as in the canton of Schwyz along Lake Zurich, is now possible without any gaps.
From Wochenblatt:

Swiss digital switchover group favours shutdown by 2022
WorldDAB Members News - 07.06.2018 - SRG SSR - Switzerland - Switzerland
At the SRG Industry Forum 2018, Philippe Zahno, President of the Working Group on Digital Migration (DigiMig), announced the group would favour a switchover from 2021 to conclude in 2022. The event also discussed DAB+ network expansion plans and the work being undertaken to convert drivers to digital radio.
From SRG SSR:

DAB+ now works in Swiss tunnels
05.06.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland
For safety and comfort reasons, all the tunnels of Swiss national roads will be upgraded to receive DAB+ digital radio. In all 27 motorway tunnels in northeastern Switzerland, the expansion is completed through the cantons of Zurich, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, St. Gallen and Glarus as well as in the canton of Schwyz along Lake Zurich.
From Lokalinfo AG:

Swiss digital working group DigiMig calls for FM switchoff from 2021
WorldDAB Members News - 05.06.2018 - OFCOM Switzerland - Switzerland - Switzerland
Switzerland's Digital Migration working group (DigiMig) has 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.
From DigiMig Working Group:

EU Countries Assess Digitization and Other Spectrum Challenges
04.06.2018 - Switzerland - Switzerland - Romania - Romania - Poland - Poland
In Switzerland, it is expected that in the autumn of 2019 a decision will be taken whether FM will go off completely in 2021, according to radio.nl. The original plan was that this would take place in phases between 2020 and 2024.
From Radio magazine:

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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 91%
Total Sales (cumulative): 4,190,000 devices
Last update: 08.04.2019

Useful Links

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