Norway becomes first country to go “fully digital”

(Source: RadioInfo via Kris Partridge)

11th January 2017 is a historic day for the medium of radio.

Norway becomes the first country in the world to move towards fully digital radio transmissions. As a result of this, the national FM network will be switched off.

The FM networks will be switched off region by region, starting in Nordland 11th January. The event will take place in Bodø and the final switch-off will be done at 11.11 pm CET.

The heads of NRK radio and commercial radio will be in Bodø to represent the Norwegian radio industry. Also, head of BBC radio, Helen Boaden, and head of radio at EBU, Graham Dixon, will attend.

An international seminar for European broadcasters will be held the day before the historic move to FM switch-off and an international press-conference will be broadcast on at 2 pm CET.

The final program will be published nearer to the event.

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14 thoughts on “Norway becomes first country to go “fully digital”

  1. 13dka

    Having made some DAB experiments, I won’t drink the koolaid broadcasters try to funnel into us by promises of better reception and audio quality. The situation: A single DAB station 60km (40miles) from here is the only one that can be received with a noticable signal. The SNR of that signal is like 20dBm over the noise floor, still reception does not work most of the time, or only for seconds without dropouts. Of course I made sure this is not some CPU overload/buffer underrun problem, still reception is very unreliable and it just drops quiet when the signal does not suffice.

    Now give me a regular FM station with a signal 20dB over the noise, and I will not only be able to decipher the transmission, I may actually enjoy it despite the bit of hiss it may come with. The way the current planning goes, I fear a huge mess with important services like traffic radio not working reliably. Not to mention that I won’t rip the 3,500€ stereo out of my dashboard just because some dipsh*t politicians were taking bribes from “industry” representatives telling a lot of lies about that crap.


  2. zhongfanyang

    Curious how they are going to do with the “legacy” FM spectrum. After all, this band has much better coverage than the normal DAB band( ie. band 3).

  3. Edward

    A disaster in the making. we (USA) did this with over the air television in 2009. I get only half of the stations I used to get with analog. and only 2 are reliable enough to be view-able. I watch less TV now than before. I am wondering who is behind this? Maybe this would be a good selling point for shortwave.

    1. Kire

      I’m sorry to hear that your tv station reception got so much worse but I must add that for me my station list went from about 15 to 98, with much more interesting programming to boot. Of course I’m sure they will end up auctioning off more spectrum and we’ll end up with nothing but pay platforms.

      1. Brandon

        In my area (East Tennessee), a lot of people were reduced to the local NBC affiliate because they have the best position to get over the mountains. Although, I did live one place that had cable, and I found that bypassing the cable box got me all of the digital stations in the area that weren’t on the box.

  4. Tom Servo

    When this plan was initially announced a year or two ago, I seem to recall that it only applied to the state broadcaster and not commercial broadcasters, low power community stations or relays that brought signals into the isolated fjords. Has that changed?

      1. BillvLe

        Radio Survivor notes:
        “In fact, only three broadcasters will be shutting down their FM signals: NRK, P4 and Radio Norge. NRK is the the Norwegian government broadcaster, P4 is the nation’s largest commercial station group, and Radio Norge is another national commercial music station. What these broadcasters have in common is that they’re all national in scope, with centralized broadcast facilities strategically located throughout the country of 5 million people. Both P4 and Radio Norge lobbied hard for the FM transition, primarily because transitioning to digital DAB broadcasts represents savings for them.
        65% of Norwegians oppose the FM shutdown, according a survey conducted last summer by the Dagbladet newspaper. Given that listeners would prefer to hang on to their FM receivers, local broadcasters are optimistic that will turn into an advantage for them, since they’ll still be heard on good old fashioned analog radio. According to the Norwegian Local Radio Federation, the group’s chairman said that local radio will see a “new renaissance” in 2017.”
        [Radio Survivor attempts to shed light on the ongoing importance of radio: from the airwaves (FM, AM, Short-wave, HD, satellite) to online. We are proponents for the relevance of radio as a participatory communications medium. As both fans and producers, we write about the problems and prospects of radio.
        We embrace college radio stations in crisis. We defend radio pirates. And we care about the on-going survival of our favorite radio stations.]

  5. rtc

    As we all know,Digital is always better simply because it is Digital.
    One has only to look at the smashing success of formats like
    DAB in the UK and IBOC/HD over here to prove this point,
    not to mention DRM on HF.


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