Norway to pioneer retirement of FM radio in favor of digital broadcast

Channel Master 14-Transistor Two-Band (AM-FM) Radio

Channel Master 14-Transistor Two-Band (AM-FM) Radio, Model 6518. Photo: Joe Haupt.

Norway is set to become the world’s first nation to switch off its FM radio network and switch to digital audio broadcasting (DAB). This widely unpopular move raises concerns over the costs for upgrades and emergency signals.

DAB technology was introduced in Norway in 1995 in parallel to the older frequency modulated radio. Roughly 55 percent of households in the nation now have at least one DAB receiver.

Digital technology offers clearer sound and allows more stations to go on air simultaneously, supporters say. At the moment, there are 22 DAB broadcasters in Norway, including all major stations, and the number is expected to grow as the FM network goes down.

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