The Norwegian Government has set a date for the switch-off of Norway’s FM radio stations in 2017, making it the first country to completely switch-off FM radio. The decision to switch off all FM radio stations in 2017 follows up the radio digitisation mandate issued in 2011.
According to an official statement by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, “Radio digitisation will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefiting listeners across the country. Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio-content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality. Digitisation will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development.”
The cost of transmitting national radio channels through the FM- network in Norway is eight times higher than with the DAB-network. The digitalization of Norway’s national radio channels will realize savings of more than NOK 200 million a year, releasing funds for investment in radio content.
The DAB-network also offers clear advantages over the FM system from an emergency preparedness perspective. For one thing, DAB is far less vulnerable to transmitter failure in extreme conditions. Second, DAB permits tunnel reception of all channels. Finally, DAB technology allows simultaneous transmission of emergency messages on all channels.
Norway’s FM radio shutdown will begin on 11th of January, 2017.