Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Media: All requirements for FM switch-off fulfilled

765 DAB transmitting towers provide 99.5% indoor DAB+ coverage in Norway.

The radio listening figures for the last three months made Ole Jørgen Torvmark a happy man. Over 50% of Norwegians now listen to digital radio daily. That means that all the government's requirements have been fulfilled in order for a switch off of FM to happen in Norway 2017.

Torvmark is CEO of Digital Radio Norway, an organization that represents the Norwegian radio industry. 51% of Norwegians listened to digital radio on a daily basis in August-October. Torvmark announced the numbers at the General Assembly of WorldDMB today, and received loud applause from the biggest turn out ever, at the conference in Rome.

Not only are the numbers good, they are also very much on the rise. Only relatively low August numbers are rumoured to have brought the average down to just above the required 50% threshold.

The sales of digital radios is increasing rapidly, and DAB+ radios are expected to be one of the biggest Christmas gifts in 2014. That will help boost numbers even more. 52% of all Norwegian households now have a DAB radio, according to todays's press release

Measurements are now published monthly, and the final survey is set to take place in January 2015. The government will announce the final plan for FM switch-off in March. Given that all five criterias have now been fulfilled, the announcement is unlikely to be a surprising one.