Norway To Become First Country To Eliminate FM Radio Band

RadioTowerNorway has revealed that it will become the first country to turn off its FM radio band, beginning Jan. 11, 2017. It plans to stop transmission of the last FM signal in the country’s northern regions by Dec. 13, 2017.

According to a statement by the Norwegian government, the decision aims to save approximately $25 million (US) per year, and aid in facilitating a switch to digital radio.

The Norwegian government stated that the cost of using the FM network is eight times higher than using Digital Broadcasting (DAB) System, which is a standard of digital radio technology used throughout Europe.

“This is an important day for everyone who loves radio,” said Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of public broadcasting network NRK, in a statement. “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.”

“Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality. Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development,” Minister of Culter Thorhild Widvey added. “Whereas the FM system only had space for five national channels, DAB already offers 22, and there is capacity for almost 20 more.”

Norway’s DAB system offers 22 national channels, compared to five on the FM band. Though Norway is the first to shut off its FM band, other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are in the process of transitioning to DAB.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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