Radio industry sets a course to phase out FM

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. On 1 December 2014, representative of the SRG and the private radio stations presented Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard with a corresponding roadmap featuring measures which must be implemented by then by the industry and the competent federal authorities.

The migration from analogue to digital radio broadcasting is to take place in two stages: by the end of 2019 all FM stations are to broadcast digitally on a DAB+ platform. Since a parallel offering of FM and DAB+ significantly increases broadcasting costs for broadcasters, the Confederation's assistance within the framework of technology support is to be greatly expanded and accompanied by information campaigns to encourage the public to purchase DAB+ radios.

The actual switch to digital radio broadcasting will take place from 2020 onwards. Under a joint agreement, the radio industry will lay down the timetable for the gradual phase-out of FM broadcasting as well as the criteria which must be met so that the process can get under way. These include, for example, the extent of digital radio usage in households. By 2024 at the latest, according to the radio industry's objective, the last VHF station in Switzerland will be taken off the network.

The DigiMig Working Group (DigiMig WG)

In 2013 the DigiMig Working Group (DigiMig WG) was set up with the objective of developing a joint strategy for the radio industry for a coordinated migration of radio stations from FM to DAB+. The working group consists of representatives of the SRG, the Association of Swiss Private Radio Stations (ASPR), the Union Romande des Radios Régionales (RRR), the Union of Non-Commercial Radio Stations (UNIKOM) and the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM).

On 1 December 2014 the DigiMig WG presented the final report to the Head of DETEC, Federal Councillor and Media Minister Doris Leuthard. The report includes 15 measures aimed at various target groups and resulting in a roadmap for the migration to DAB+. This plan envisages that the Confederation will open up a time window within which the SRG and the local radio stations will organise the digital migration independently and taking into account distinctive regional characteristics.

Specialist staff
Last modification 01.12.2014

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