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Norway to switch off FM radio in two years

by RadioToday UK
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National FM networks in Norway will leave FM and move to DAB only, starting in 2017.

The switchover will begin in the North and will be implemented region by region, the Ministry of Culture said today.

Norway began the transition to DAB in 1995. In recent years two national and several local DAB networks has been established. 56 per cent of radio listeners use digital radio every day. 55 per cent of households have at least one DAB radio, according to Digitalradio survey by TNS Gallup, continuously measuring the Norwegian`s digital radio habits.

Norway is the first country in the world to decide upon an analogue closure for all major radio channels, starting on January 11th 2017 and ending in December. The DAB coverage in Norway now exceeds FM and provides Norway with 22 national channels, as opposed to five channels transmitting nationwide on FM.

The UK is heading for a digital radio future but no firm plans have been made to switch off FM or move the majority of radio stations to DAB. Both the BBC and the Commercial sectors are currently upgrading the DAB transmission network to reach FM standards.


– 56 % of radio listeners use digital radio every day

– 44 % of listeners hear only via FM radio every day

– 20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio

– 55 % of all Norwegian households have at least one DAB radio.

There are 2.1 million DAB radios in Norway .

– 7.9 million radio sets will be affected by FM-extinction.

FM radios can be upgraded or recycled. * Digital radio survey , TNS Gallup 2015

Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of NRK, says: “This is an important day for everyone who loves radio. The minister`s decision allows us to concentrate our resources even more upon what is most important, namely to create high quality and diverse radio-content to our listeners.”

Several countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are in similar processes, choosing DAB as the backbone of future radio distribution.

Ole Jørgen Torvmark, CEO of Digital Radio Norway says: “The White Paper from 2011 and a unique collaboration between the radio industry is the main reason why Norway is far ahead in the transition to digital radio. Many countries are now looking to Norway to learn.


NRK: at least 99,5 % coverage on DAB

Commercial radio: 92.8 % coverage on DAB

Community radio: 50 % DAB coverage on DAB

DAB-covarage on roads are generally higher than on FM.

All FM-transmitters in tunnels will be replaced with DAB.

Screenshot 2015-04-16 07.47.39

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