Norway will become the first country in the world to start the process of switching off its analogue FM (Frequency Modulation) radio network to adopt the cheaper and wider covering DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting), from this Thursday, 12th January 2017.
The move has attracted a lot of attention, and is splitting the opinion of many in the Scandinavian country. Over 70% of the country are now using DAB as their main source of radio listening.
DAB radio is considered to be a better alternative to FM; producing a better quality of audio and allows more channels to be available. However, in a recent poll, 66% of Norwegians felt the government is moving ahead with these plans too quickly – the two largest opponents being motorists and the elderly.
It is believed that two million cars on the road in Norway are not currently able to receive DAB radio, and a total of 15 million radios in homes, businesses and on sea vessels could be made redundant by the time the expected switch off is complete in five years.
Motorists are being advised to purchase new systems at an average cost of 4,000 Norwegian kroner ($464; £382), or adaptors at 1,500 Norwegian kroner ($174; £143).
Future Of FM In The UK
Interestingly, the UK Government has for a long time considered following the same route, with three national digital multiplexes already in operation – one for which holds BBC stations and two for commercial stations.
However, any potential decision to do this depends the listenership of DAB radio reaches 50%. Currently, that is estimated to reach this landmark in 2018, but any decision to start a switch off would more than likely be around 2020 and needs to be agreed in Parliament.
Another way of listening to radio beyond DAB is via the Internet, and many DAB radios already incorporate Internet radio, including a great range at BuyCleverStuff. It is even more reliable than DAB and provides even more choice than what is available currently on digital multiplexes.
As the switch off in Norway rolls out over the next five years, with national broadcasts expected to be turned off by the end of 2017 and local broadcasts urged to switch over to DAB within the final four years, the UK and other countries will be keeping a close eye on what takes place.
If you want to get ahead of the game and enjoy digital radio via DAB or Internet – take a look at our great soundmaster® Home Audio Internet Radio range: