Norway has become the first country in the World to announce it plans to make FM Radio redundant in 2017. With only 5 stations currently broadcasting on FM, it hopes the move will encourage those FM stations to join the 22 radio stations currently operating on the digital platform.
In a statement, the Norwegian Ministry of Culture has estimated that by ending FM radio and digitalising the national radio output, it will save the country 200 million Norwegian Krone (£17m, $25m) a year. These savings occur “partly because DAB transmitters are more power efficient”.
The decision to switch off all FM radio is in line with the ‘radio digitisation mandate issued by the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) in 2011’.
The Minister of Culture- Thorhild Widvey has said that by ending FM radio in Norway, “radio digitisation will open the door to a far greater range of radio channels, benefiting listeners across the country. Listeners will have access to more diverse and pluralistic radio content, and enjoy better sound quality and new functionality”. She went on to add that “digitisation will also greatly improve the emergency preparedness system, facilitate increased competition and offer new opportunities for innovation and development”.