Digital transmission

80% of radio use in Switzerland is digital

Radio is largely consumed at home (63% of usage) and most frequently via digital reception channels - 80% of all radio usage is digital. In terms of share, FM is still most frequently used in the car (33%), but here too digital use predominates.

Switzerland listens to digital radio – only 8 out of 100 people listen exclusively to FM radio

Digital use of radio continues to increase in all regions, age groups and listening locations. Almost 70% of radio listened to in the car is now via digital channels. This was announced by the Digital Migration working group (DigiMig WG) at Swiss Radio Day on 31 August 2023.

77% listen to digital radio – Sharp rise in digital use in the car

Digital radio use is increasing across all regions, age groups and places of use, while FM continues to decline. Radio listening via the internet is becoming increasingly popular, although DAB+ remains the most widely used platform for radio listening. Last year, almost half a million new DAB+ radios came into use.

Three quarters of radio listening is via a digital platform

DAB+ and internet radio make up three quarters of overall radio use, with young people preferring IP radio and older listeners tuning in via DAB+. For every 100 minutes of radio listened to in cars, 62 are transmitted digitally.

DAB+ transmitter networks for digital broadcasting by radio stations

In Switzerland more than 120 radio stations can be received in digital form by antenna. Several companies are responsible for preparing this programming in the DAB+ format and for broadcasting it over their transmitter networks.

Additional licence for DAB+ in French-speaking Switzerland awarded to DABCOM AG

On 13 May 2019 the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) granted another DAB+ radiocommunication licence for digital broadcasting of radio programme services in French-speaking Switzerland. With DABCOM AG, ComCom selected the highest scoring candidate, particularly in relation to the criteria of media diversity and economic efficiency.

ComCom launches invitation to tender for new DAB+ network for French-speaking Switzerland

French-speaking Switzerland is to receive another DAB+ network for the digital transmission of radio programme services. To this end, on 28 May 2018 the Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) published the tender documents for the award of a DAB+ radio licence. The application period lasts until 27th July 2018.

Digital radio - the radio industry plans the phase-out of FM broadcasting

By 2024 all radio programme services are to be broadcast only digitally in Switzerland, mainly on DAB+ platforms. This is the goal of the radio industry, which will cease analogue FM broadcasting of its programme services by 2024 at the latest.

Survey of demand for additional digital radio frequencies in Switzerland

In order to determine the requirements for additional frequencies for digital broadcasting of radio stations in DAB+ format, the OFCOM is launching a survey of demand. It is aimed at companies who would like to construct and operate language-regional, regional, or local DAB+ networks in Switzerland.

New digital radio network for German-speaking Switzerland

The radio licence of 10 April 2012 allows SwissMediaCast AG (SMC) to construct a third digital DAB+ transmitter network in German-speaking Switzerland. The network consists of five sub-areas and serves as a platform for regionally oriented private programme services, as well as the regional journals of the SRG.

New digital radio stations in French-speaking Switzerland

The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication (DETEC) has licensed three new radio stations which will broadcast in future on DAB+ in French-speaking Switzerland. These are new offerings from Radio Rhône SA, Radio Fribourg/Freiburg SA and Soprodi Sàrl. The licences confer an entitlement to broadcast on the new DAB+ transmitter network but no entitlement to subsidies from the federal government.

Award of new DVB-T licences

Following the public consultation enabling identification of the requirements for the award of regional radiocommunication licences (DVB-T) in the Haut-Valais and the Grisons, two operators have stated that they are prepared to continue to provide DVB-T services in their respective regions. OFCOM has awarded a new DVB-T licence to the two operators, with effect from 1 April 2009 and valid until the end of 2013.

Invitation to tender for eight digital radio licences in French-speaking Switzerland

The private radio offering in French-speaking Switzerland is to be expanded by a new digital platform. The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has launched an invitation to tender for eight licences with access rights to this platform.

Radio licence for digital radio

The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has awarded SwissMediaCast AG the technical approval (radio licence) for transmission of new digital radio programme services in German-speaking Switzerland.

Licences for 8 DAB radio stations in German-speaking Switzerland

The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) has designated the eight stations which will receive a radio licence for digital broadcasting in German-speaking Switzerland.

Digital terms

Brief overview of digital terms

Legal framework

Switzerland is to acquire 14 full national coverages for the expansion of digital broadcasting – seven for digital television (DVB-T) and seven for digital radio (T-DAB). This is the result of the international ITU Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva which came to a close on 16 June 2006.

The Federal Council has issued the new Directives for the digital dissemination of radio and TV programmes in the VHF and UHF bands. As a result, DETEC is now able to release frequencies for digital broadcasting.