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.
In the course of a survey of demand performed by the OFCOM in 2016, additional demand for broadcast channels in French-speaking Switzerland was recorded. Since free DAB+ frequencies are available, ComCom, which is responsible in this context, commissioned OFCOM to carry out an invitation to tender for another DAB+ radio.
A beauty contest (competition based on criteria) will be used to select the DAB+ radio licensee. ComCom will assess the applications based on the following criteria:
- Coverage and efficient use of the frequency spectrum: for spectrum efficiency reasons, extensive coverage of French-speaking Switzerland is desired rather than coverage of subareas.
- Contribution to media pluralism: the applicants should explain how the planned programme bouquet will increase the diversity of radio offerings in the coverage area and which innovative formats are envisaged.
- Economic viability: preference will be given to applicants who can credibly demonstrate that they can make the necessary investment and that they can guarantee operation, which is financially secure in the longterm.
The procedure as well as the assessment criteria are set out in the tender documents available on the OFCOM website. Applications for the radio license must be submitted by 27 July 2018. ComCom expects that the radio license will be granted until spring 2019.