Future of radio in Switzerland: possibilities and limits

From an economic point-of-view, new VHF programmes are feasible in the Swiss radio market without endangering any existing stations. However, the existing marketing structures and the high investment costs for the conversion of the transmitter networks could represent significant obstacles to expansion. In addition, the radio audience will only be able to benefit from the increased diversity of programmes by using high-quality receiver equipment. This is the conclusion of economic and technical studies carried out by OFCOM with regard to the restructuring of the radio landscape.

Against a background of a continual shortage of frequencies, in the spring of 2001, OFCOM commissioned a group of experts to research the options for the optimisation of VHF utilisation in Switzerland. In its report dated November 2002, the "VHF 2001 study group" came to the conclusion that space could be created for new providers by applying new planning methods. The experts present various recommendations that have been bundled into five different development scenarios for the Swiss radio landscape.
The Federal Council will decide on the strategy for future use of the VHF band and the transition to new technologies. For the practical implementation of the recommendations and the provision of the necessary foundations for a decision, OFCOM commissioned studies to illuminate the topic from both technical and economic viewpoints:

Market opportunities for new private radio stations (GoldMedia)

GoldMedia GmbH in Berlin, a company that specialises in market research in the broadcasting sector, investigated the competition situation and market potential in the Swiss radio sector (only in german available):

UKW-Empfängerstudie (Nozema)

Die niederländische Frequenzplanungsbehörde untersuchte die technischen Eigenschaften einer repräsentativen Auswahl von UKW-Empfängern. Die Resultate werden verglichen mit den Resultaten einer Untersuchung aus dem Jahr 1996.

Study of costs DAB (Ofcom)

Scenario 5 from the VHF 2001 expert group recommends DAB technology to extend audio broadcasting in terms of both quality and quantity. In a survey, OFCOM estimated the costs for the construction and operation of DAB transmitter networks for private radio broadcasters (in german only).

Further information

The final report of the VHF 2001 group of experts propose measures for optimising the scarce VHF frequency resources. At the heart of the report are five scenarios for the future technical design of the Swiss radio landscape.

Specialist staff
Last modification 30.08.2004

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