Norway Is Switching Off FM Radio, Starting In 2017 reports that the Norway Ministry of Culture has announced that it is going to completely transition towards digital radio by switching off FM radio across the country, starting January 11, 2017 and ending December 13, 2017. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) will offer listeners in Norway with a wide range of radio channel content. DAB currently offers 22 national channels in Norway compared to the five national channels on FM radio. About 56% of listeners in Norway uses some form of digital radio every day, according to a TNS Gallup survey.

Norway is the first country to schedule a date for the FM shutdown, but there are several other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia that are planning to switch to DAB. The change does not come as a surprise because the Norway Ministry of Culture proposed turning off FM radio — which was patented in 1933 by Edwin Armstrong — four years ago. “This is an important day for everyone who loves radio. The minister’s decision allows us to concentrate our resources even more upon what is most important, namely to create high quality and diverse radio-content to our listeners,” said Thor Gjermund Eriksen, the head of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, in a statement.

NBC reported that the digital radio service is free over-the-air, but it requires a special receiver attachment on the listener’s end.


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