Norway’s government recently announced that within the next two years they would get rid of FM radio, the first country in the world to do so. By January 2017, they are hoping to switch over to digital radio entirely.
Thorhild Widvery, minister of culture, claims the switch is due to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system having more benefits than FM radio, the benefits being more channels and better quality, according to New York Daily News.
“Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality,” Widvery said. “Digitization will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development.”
Additionally, radio digitalization supposedly costs less. Broadcasting national radio channels through FM networks costs eight times more than broadcasting through a digital network.
“Whereas the FM system only had space for five national channels, DAB already offers 22 and there is capacity for almost 20 more,” Widvery added.
Norway has been talking about the switch for years. However, a move for 2017 was latched onto the availability of “affordable and technically satisfactory solutions” for those who listen to the radio in their cars, and the idea that the signal that carries the national services account for more than 90 percent of Norway’s population, according to NPR.
DAB is much less vulnerable to a failure in transmission during extreme weather conditions, the Norwegian government pointed out, which enhances the appeal to digital radio.
Due to Norway’s plans to switch, many countries in Europe and Southeast Asia are also now considering switching to digital broadcasting.
Information taken from npr.org and newyorkdailynews.com