The Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) has announced that FM broadcasting in Switzerland will be switched off by the end of 2024 at the latest.
An agreement by the countries broadcasters to phase out FM is well underway with studies available to OFCOM, showing that at the end of June 2019 only 17 per cent of stations were using this reception channel exclusively.
OFCOM Vice-Director, Bernard Maissen, announced on SwissRadioDay that the FM radio licences expiring in December 2019 would be extended until 2024, with the possibility of shortening the duration if the radio industry so wishes.
The latest research by GFK on behalf of OFCOM and the Digital Migration Working Group (DigiMig WG), shows that DAB+ usage is up by 12% and for the first time in on a par with FM at 35%.
The other two methods of digital reception, IP radio and digital TV, have grown by a lesser extent, just 4% since autumn 2015, and together they constitute 30% of the volume of radio usage.
At home and at work, DAB+ has replaced FM as the most common reception method, while in cars FM is still on top with 56% of usage, but this is expected to fall as more and more cars fitted with a DAB+ radio travel on Swiss roads.
GFK figures show that since 2000 a total of 4.3 million DAB+ devices have been sold in Switzerland.