2017 marks the end of FM radio in Norway as the country already set a date (see translated version here) for the shutdown of its FM radio stations. The Scandinavian kingdom is one step closer to fully drawing down the curtains on its national FM frequencies by moving to digital radio. The transition from the old to the modern will be completed within the next two years.
The official announcement
According to a Radio.no report, Norway will be the first country in the world to switch off all of its frequency modulation broadcasts. The country?s Ministry of Culture announced that the transition from analog to Digital Audio Broadcasting will commence in January of 2017.
Thor Gjermund Eriksen, Head of the state-run NRK Broadcasting?mentioned, “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.”
On a global level, it will take a considerable amount of time before the majority of countries around the world can ?sunset? FM radio, UberGizmo observes. Some of them has already severed their ties from FM radio decades ago and this trend will continue in the years to come, but in Norway its days are numbered.
Move to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB)
DAB, once implemented, can offer Norwegian listeners more diverse content with slightly improved audio quality. Gizmodo pointed out that Norwegian DAB hosts 22 national channels at present compared to FM?s five channels. Even though Norway is the first to set a date for a nationwide FM deactivation, other countries are also in the process.
The Ministry’s decision has given Norwegians a final date; the switch-off will begin in January 11, 2017 for the shift?to digital radio. The shutdown of the FM bands is expected to ?be implemented region by region. It will start in Nordland county on January 11?of the said year?and conclude?with the northernmost counties of Finnmark and Troms on?December 13, 2017.
According to a TNS Gallup survey?cited by the Radio.no report, 56% of Norwegians already enjoy digital radio daily, as opposed to 44% who still tune in via FM. Moreover, 55% of all households currently use at least one DAB radio. The poll body estimates that almost 8?million radios will be affected by this planned extinction, and thus the government is planning to offer a recycling and upgrading program to help with the transition.