Norway to start FM switchover on January 11th
The countdown is on to the official start of digital radio switchover in Norway, beginning on January 11th at 11:11.11am.
The formal ceremony in Norway will be watched by many countries around the world who themselves are heading towards a digital radio future, including the UK. Norway is the first country in the world to move the majority of its radio stations off FM.
Norway has 25 national radio channels via DAB and currently has five national radio channels via FM. The DAB network now covers the same as FM. 54% of digital listeners listen to radio on DAB; 19 per cent of digital listeners are on the net. Local radio stations outside the main cities will continue to broadcast in FM.
The FM networks will be switched off region by region, starting in Nordland. The event will take place in Bodø and the final switch-off will be done at 11.11 pm CET.
The Norwegian Radio industry will be present in Bodø, represented by head of NRK radio and commercial radio. Also, head of BBC Radio, Helen Boaden, and head of Radio at EBU, Graham Dixon, will attend.
An international seminar for European broadcasters will be held the day before the historic move to FM switch-off and an international press-conference will be broadcast on inRad.io via radio.no at 1pm GMT.
Representatives from Digital Radio UK will be at the event, and will keep RadioToday readers up-to-date with developments from next week.
Reaction to the plan to remove stations from FM has not been welcomed in Norway, with a last-ditch attempt to postpone the move failing in the Norwegian parliament.