Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)


Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) was conceived as a means of digitizing audio programmes in order to offer distortion-free reception and CD quality sound. However, the ability of this technology to carry any form of data has allowed it to evolve to convey text, pictures and even video.

Our Role & Activities

The work of ETSI on Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) falls into two parts: system specifications and standards to assist equipment to be placed on the market in line with European legislation (Harmonised Standards).

DAB system specifications

Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) offering superior sound quality, and enhanced performance in a multipath environment, compared to existing AM and FM transmission systems. The basic DAB standard, published by ETSI, has its origins in the work of EUREKA Project 147.

Equipment standards for DAB Transmitters and DAB system specifications are developed in the ETSI/EBU/CENELEC Joint Technical Committee 'Broadcast', based on proposals from the WorldDAB Forum, an organization whose role to promote the DAB standard. Standards for DAB receivers are available from CENELEC.

DAB equipment specifications

ETSI is responsible for developing standards for DAB transmitters: standards for DAB receivers are available from CENELEC.

DAB Transmitters placed on the European market are required to comply with the R&TTE Directive being replaced by the Radio Equipment Directive by June 2016, which sets requirements on safety, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and correct use of the radio spectrum to avoid harmful interference.

Standards related to safety are available from CENELEC, whilst ETSI's technical committee ERM is responsible for developing and maintaining the EMC standards. These include two Harmonised Standards which may be used to demonstrate compliance of terrestrial sound broadcasting transmitters (including DAB) with the R&TTE Directive being replaced by RED by June 2016:

  • EN 301 489-1 (General EMC requirements for radio equipment)
  • EN 301 489-11 (specific requirements for terrestrial sound broadcast transmitters).

ERM also creates standards related to the use of the radio frequency spectrum, and of these EN 302 077 applies to terrestrial DAB transmitters.

Electronic programme guides for DAB

The ETSI standard for electronic programme guides (TS 102 818) covers now Hybrid Digital Radio, i.e. DAB, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and RadioDNS. It is an XML specification for Service and Programme Information (SPI).

Digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB)

DMB is an extension of Digital Audio Broadcasting to provide a digital radio transmission system for multimedia (radio, TV, and datacasting). It can operate via satellite (S-DMB) or terrestrial (T-DMB) transmission.

ETSI is working with the WorldDAB Forum to develop standards for DMB: these include the DMB Video Service (video carried by DAB) and MPEG-2 Transport streaming.


The following is a list of the 20 latest published ETSI standards on Digital Audio Broadcasting.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
TS 101 756 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Registered Tables
TS 101 499 Hybrid Digital Radio (DAB, DRM, RadioDNS); SlideShow; User Application Specification
TS 102 371 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM); Transportation and Binary Encoding Specification for Service and Programme Information (SPI)
TS 102 818 Hybrid Digital Radio (DAB, DRM, RadioDNS); XML Specification for Service and Programme Information (SPI)
TS 103 177 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Filecasting; User application specification
TS 103 176 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Rules of implementation; Service information features
TR 101 495 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Guide to DAB standards; Guidelines and Bibliography
TS 102 563 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Transport of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio
TS 102 693 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Encapsulation of DAB Interfaces (EDI)
TS 102 635-1 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Middleware; Part 1: System aspects
TS 102 635-2 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Middleware; Part 2: DAB
TS 102 428 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); DMB video service; User application specification
TS 102 632 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Voice Applications
TS 102 980 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Dynamic Label Plus (DL Plus); Application specification
TS 102 978 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); IPDC Services; Transport specification
TS 102 979 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Journaline; User application specification
TS 102 652 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Intellitext; Application specification
EN 300 401 Radio Broadcasting Systems; Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) to mobile, portable and fixed receivers
EN 301 234 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Multimedia Object Transfer (MOT) protocol
TS 101 498-1 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB); Broadcast website; Part 1: User application specification