FM radio to go dark in 2017 in Norway

The changeover from FM radio to DAB will start in Norway on January 11, 2017 and conclude in December, the Norwegian government announced Wednesday. Norway follows UK in digital radio switchover.

Can this happen in North America?

Criteria needs to be met.

Not too far from UK rules, 50% of listening must be done digitally by 2015, and coverage should be equal to FM. Also, “Inexpensive and technically satisfactory solutions for radio reception in cars” must have been ready earlier this year.

Another cool nugget is that “Digital radio must include additional value to the listeners [such as extra radio channels or additional services].” Furthermore,  “All tunnels above 500 meters in length (there are more than 500 of these) will get DAB installed by the Norwegian Road Authority as the DAB system in the tunnels will double as an emergency warning system in case of accidents or fires.”

Here are some stats for digital radio in Norway, as per the Digital radio survey, TNS Gallop 2015:

  • 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.


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.

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