Norway will become the first country in the world to turning off FM radio

On Wednesday, Norway will become the first country in the world to turning off FM radio. The country plans to move to a digital-only broadcasting system. People in Norway will only able to listen to digital programmes instead of FM radio. Which means listeners will need a device that can pick up a digital signal.

The shutdown of the FM network will start in the northern city of Bodo on 11 January. The country has been split into six regions for the turn-off. The rest of the national FM broadcasts will end by the end of this year.

Norway currently has five national FM radio stations.

The decision was finalized last year by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, based on a number of determinations. By dropping the FM system, the Norwegian government believes it will save 200 million Norwegian krone (£19 million) a year.

Digital broadcasting offers better sound than FM radio, better coverage and also can support many more radio stations than FM can

With this change, Cars will be the biggest challenge in Norway. Why? Because there are two million cars in Norway that are not equipped with digital audio broadcasting (DAB) receivers. Only 20 per cent of car radios in Norway can pick up DAB. If they want to use their old car setup the only option they have left is buy adapters. Converting a car radio can cost around 1500 krone (£140). Otherwise they’re gonna need a whole new radio. DAB radios are not much more expensive than FM radios

Switzerland, Denmark and the UK are also considering a switch-off. Switzerland plans a similar shift from 2020, and the U.K. and Denmark are among those also considering such a switch.

Frequency Modulation was first invented in 1933 and more widely introduced in the 1950s. It is commonly broadcast between the radio frequencies 87.5 to 108.0 MHz.


(Photo: flickr/Sean Davis)

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