Norway becomes the first country to end nationwide FM radio

From CNET: Norway completed its transition to digital radio this week, making it the first country to shut down national FM radio broadcasts. The move began in January to allow for better sound quality and more channels. The digital system known as digital audio broadcasting (DAB) also reportedly functions at an eighth of the cost of traditional FM radio. The transition only involves national radio channels, and most local stations will still broadcast on FM.

The switch officially took place on Wednesday, as noted in a statement from Digitalradio Norge (DRN), an arm of Norway's public and commercial radio. Norway currently has 31 national radio channels at DAB, and digital radio is popular in many European countries, with at least 40 other countries using the radio form to some extent. However, some DRN reports only 49% of motorists are able to listen to DAB in their cars currently. DRN also reports that Norwegians have purchased or acquired 620,000 DAB radios in the last 2.5 months. With other countries including Switzerland, Britain and Denmark planning to follow suit in the coming years, the FM to digital radio transition appears to be gaining momentum in Europe.

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