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 pdfR&TTE Directive, 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:

  • 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

ETSI has recently published a single standard for electronic programme guides for both DAB and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM).

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 recently published and frequently downloaded standards. Please use the ETSI standards search to find further related standards in the public domain or to subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.
For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard n°Standard title
TS 102 563 Transport of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) audio
TS 101 756 Registered Tables
EN 301 489-11 ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) standard for radio equipment and services;
Part 11: Specific conditions for terrestrial sound broadcasting service transmitters
TS 102 367 Conditional access
TS 102 818 Digital Radio Mondial (DRM);
XML Specification for DAB Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
EN 302 077-2 Transmitting equipment for the Terrestrial - Digital Audio Broadcasting (T-DAB) service;
Part 2: Harmonized EN under article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive
EN 300 401 Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) to mobile, portable and fixed receivers
EN 302 077-1 Transmitting equipment for the Terrestrial - Digital Audio Broadcasting (T-DAB) service;
Part 1: Technical characteristics and test methods
TS 102 427 Data Broadcasting - MPEG-2 TS streaming
TS 102 428 DMB video service;
User Application Specification