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

Bern, 28.05.2018 - 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.

Today, in French-speaking Switzerland, in addition to the SSR-SRG programme services, all private FM programme services in the whole linguistic region as well as other non-commercial web radio stations and specialty programme services in the conurbations of Geneva, Lausanne and Lower Valais are transmitted in digital form. In the course of a survey of demand performed by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) in 2016, additional demand for broadcast channels 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 licence in French-speaking Switzerland.

A beauty contest (competition based on criteria) will be used to select the DAB+ radio licensee. The applications will be assessed by ComCom on the basis of 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 sub-areas.
  • 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 long-term.

The procedure as well as the assessment criteria are set out in the tender documents available on the OFCOM website. The invitation to tender will be opened with the publication in the Federal Gazette (BBI) on 29 May 2018. Applications for the radio licence must be submitted by 27 July 2018. ComCom expects that the radio licence will be granted by the end of 2018.

DAB+ will be the principle transmission technology from 2020

In October 2017, the Federal Council decided that from 2020 DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting) will replace analogue FM as the main transmission technology for radio programme services. The radio industry is currently developing a roadmap and modalities for the orderly migration from FM to DAB+, which should be realized by 2024 at the latest. The radio industry intends to announce the definitive shutdown of FM at the beginning of 2019.

Address for enquiries

Stephan Netzle, ComCom President, 058 463 52 90


Federal Communications Commission ComCom