Digital kills the radio star – Norway to be the first country to turn off FM radio in 2017

20 Apr 2015

Norway is to become the first country in the world to turn off its FM frequency and switch over to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) entirely by 2017.

The announcement was made at the weekend by Norway’s Minister of Culture.

The move to DAB will provide Norwegian listeners with more diverse radio channel content than they have ever had before.

There are already 22 DAB national channels compared to five national FM channels across Norway.

While several other countries in Europe and Southeast Asia have begun similar processes, Norway is the first country in Europe to set a final date for FM switch-off.

This is radio everywhere

“This is an important day for everyone who loves radio,” said Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of Norway’s national broadcaster NRK.

“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 for our listeners.”

More than 50pc of Norwegian households already have a DAB-friendly radio and more than 56pc of these listeners listen daily to broadcasts over DAB, according to a TNS Gallup poll.

The FM switchoff starts in Nordland County on 11 January 2017 and will end with the northernmost countries of Troms and Finnmark on 13 December 2017 according to

DAB radio image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years