Tags: norway | fm radio | turned off | 2017

Norway FM Radio to Be Turned Off in 2017 as Digital Takes Over

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 07:30 AM

Norway will be the first country in the world to turn off FM radio when it makes a complete switch over to digital audio broadcasting in 2017.

According to the website Radio.no, the country's minister of culture Thorhild Widvey said the number of Norwegians listening to digital audio broadcasting already exceeds those listening to the national FM format and national channel listenership continues to move away from analog channels.

"This is an important day for everyone who loves radio," Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of NRK, the state-run radio and television public broadcasting company, said of the switch. "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."

Radio.no noted that 22 of Norway's national radio channels have already moved to digital broadcasting while five remain on FM.

"Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality," said Widvey. "Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development."

While Norway will be the first country to move completely digital radio, other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are also moving to digital audio technology.

"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," said Ole Jørgen Torvmark, chief executive of Digital Radio Norway. "Many countries are now looking to Norway to learn."

A Norwegian government statement said that there were cost and emergency preparedness advantages to the switch from FM to digital.

"The cost of transmitting national radio channels through the FM- network is eight times higher than with the DAB-network, and P4, Radio Norge and NRK are currently spending large sums on parallel distribution," the government said.

"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," said the statement.

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Norway will be the first country in the world to turn off FM radio when it makes a complete switch over to digital audio broadcasting in 2017.
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Monday, 20 Apr 2015 07:30 AM
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