Norway

Last update: 01-03-2017 - older versions

Norway announced on 16 April 2015 that they will be the first country to close down national FM transmissions and switch to DAB and digital radio in 2017. 99.5% of the population has access to DAB reception with almost three million receivers sold to date.

The switchover process starts in January 2017 and takes place over a 12-month period, conducting changes region by region. Switchover will affect all national radio stations and commercial local radio stations broadcasting in larger cities. Community radio and smaller local radio stations will continue to broadcast on FM for five more years after national switch off, at which point licences will be reviewed.

Broadcasters are to choose between DAB or DAB+ transmissions. By 2017, all DAB broadcasting in Norway will most probably broadcast via DAB+.

According to the Digital Radio Survey for Q4 2015, conducted by TNS Gallup, 60% of Norwegians use digital radio on a daily basis. 26% of Norwegians have DAB in their car, up from 20% in Q4 2014 and 10% in 2013.

Norwegian Media Authority - webpage on the Digital Switchover

Download status report October 2016

Download the Q4 2015 TNS Gallup Survey

Download the Q1 2015 TNS Gallup Survey[ : http://radio.no/2015/05/57-prosent-bruker-digital-radio/]

 

Last update: 09-01-2017 - older versions

In Norway, 99.5% of the population has access to DAB reception. Public broadcaster NRK has 99.5% population coverage. Commercial stations have 92.8% coverage.

DAB network covers the same percentage of the population as the largest FM-network, and the commercial network reaches out to a large population. Tunnels have DAB-coverage from 2016, and all tunnels that require FM-coverage, will be equipped with DAB. All new tunnels longer than 500m will have DAB.

Contrary to FM, where only a few channels have tunnel coverage, all channels on air outside.

416 tunnels will have DAB by 2020, however most will be completed by 2017. The coverage area for DAB is equal to or better than the FM-network.

A coverage map can be found on the Digitalradio Norge website. (Enter address or choose postal zipcode and your requested channel, and the map will show the coverage of the relevant area. An orange colour indicates strong signals.)

A video showing some of the challenges of building a DAB network covering all of Norway`s challenging topography can be seen on the "Hva er digitalradio?" website.

Last update: 08-06-2016 - older versions

In this country there are

on air.

A full listing of the services on air in Norway is available at http://radio.no/dekning/#networks. There are 23 nation-wide channels, 9 commercial and 14 public.

NRK's stations are mainly distributed through their own regionalised DAB-network, though a few stations are temporarily distributed through the commercial DAB-network.

There are also 7 local networks in operation in Norway. In the Oslo area 18 channels are available, in addition to the national networks.

In the national and regional networks, both DAB and DAB+ are transmitted. By 2017, all stations will most probably transmit in DAB+. The local DAB-networks utilise DAB+ only.

Slideshow

NRK broadcasts Slideshow (SLS) on all of its stations except for the low bitrate weather station. The slideshows contain images of album covers, djs, trafic information, news bulletins, as well as images from RSS feeds, Instagram images and text, facebook images and text.

 

Both P4 and Bauer radio groups broadcast Slideshow on their DAB services as well.

The regional multiplexes (NRK)

NRK has 7 regional multiplexes, adding up to a nationally covering network that reach 99.5% of the population. NRK has 14 services in total, 10 of which are currently in the regional network. (4 are temporarily placed in the commercial network). 2 out of these 10 share one channel-slot, sharing the day between them. The main channel, NRK P1, and the digital-only station P1+, have localised content in each region some parts of the day. In each region there are 2 or 3 local versions of these stations (each region covers 2 or 3 counties). The other stations are similar across the country.

The commercial network

The commercial network has a coverage of 92.8% and contains 9 commercial services and (temporarily) 4 NRK services.

The local networks

In Norway, there are 37 regions for local DAB transmissions. An overview of the regions and the frequencies used can be found here. One operator is given licence in each region, and this operator must offer DAB-capacity openly, and at equal terms to all stations. In March 2016, licences for 18 of these regions were awarded for the period of Jan 1st 2017 - December 31st, 2031. 

Today, 6 local DAB networks are in operation, under a licence that will expire Dec 31st, 2016. The number of available stations is different by region. In the Oslo area there are 14 local DAB stations as of March 2016. 

Simulcast on AM / FM Exclusive on digital Total of services
DAB programmes 54 9 63
DAB+ programmes 39 6 45
Total9315108

Last update: 19-12-2016 - older versions

In Norway, which will start to switch off FM transmissions in January 2017, at least 78% of new cars had DAB as standard in the first half of 2016 – this figure rises to over 90% when installation by dealers is included. Norway's top selling car-brand, VW, is offering all makes and models as standard only. All of the top 20 selling car-brands offer DAB as line fit (standard or optional).

Over 28% of all cars in Norway have a DAB radio. With the announcement of FM switch off in 2017, the main in-car focus is on the market for adaptors and retro-fit digital radios, to ensure these are as widely available as possible.

The proposed strategy is to install DAB radios into as many cars as possible before the FM shutdown, making adaptors available through traditional and non-traditional car accessory sales channels. A key element in the strategy is to offer DAB adaptor installation at the same time as periodic vehicle-controls.

60% of drivers who do not have DAB in the car say they will wait to upgrade when the FM network is extinguished.

When asked what they plan to do with their old FM radios, 41% of car owners without DAB said that they want to upgrade to a DAB adapter or a new radio. 11% reported that they are replacing their car before FM is extinguished. 10% want to wait until they get more knowledge about how to fix it. As many as 26% do not know or did not answer what they would do. Read more.

 

Last update: 06-04-2017 - older versions

DAB sales penetration by population in Norway is 72% by household. Sales of DAB receivers including in-car products, have been increasing steadily since their introduction into the market in 2009 when 63,000 were sold, compared to the 667,000 units sold in 2014.

Units sold

2009 - 63,000

2010 - 82,000

2011 - 135,000

2012 - 220,000

2013 - 511,000

2014 – 667,000

 

Last update: 15-10-2014 - older versions

Norway’s three leading broadcasters, NRK, TV2 and MTG, jointly run mobile TV services via DMB. MiniTV trials began in the Oslo area in 2009 with live TV channels, on demand content and other related services. Today 4 TV-channels are available on MiniTV. A software based solution for pay-tv, provided by Korean DigiCap, is also on trial on the DMB networks.

Last update: 09-01-2017 - older versions

Key features of regulation for digital radio in Norway are:

  • Digital radio services are broadcast on Band III
  • All major FM-channels are broadcast on DAB
  • Broadcasting in Norway is regulated according to the Broadcasting Act/Law which gives NRK the right to broadcast nationally. Licences for the commercial broadcasters have been issued up to 2014.There is one national DAB multiplex in use today, seven regional ones (with total coverage corresponding to the national multiplex) plus 6 local multiplexes. One DMB multiplex is in use in the greater Oslo area (trial).The regional multiplexes are operated by NRK, and together they have a total coverage of 99.5%. This coverage is similar to the coverage of the national multiplex.
  • The commercial multiplex uses 12D for the entire country
  • There are also other multiplexes regulated for use in Norway including an additional commercial national mux, using 11A and 12A

Analogue radio switch-off is planned for 2017 as the following switchover criteria has been met:

  1. NRK must achieve coverage of 99.5% by 2015.
  2. Commercial broadcasters on the national network #1 are required to reach 90% of the population
  3. At least 50% of listeners must daily use a digital platform in 2015. Digital platforms also include listening via the Internet and digital TV. This does not specify market share of listening, but only reach.
  4. The solutions for Digital radio in cars must be at an economically and technically satisfactory level for consumers. All counties and half of all municipalities must have established services for aftermarked-service in 2015.
  5. Digital radio to constitute an added value for the listeners

Last update: 10-01-2017 - older versions

Information to the public is co-ordinated, and partly performed, by Digitalradio Norway which is owned by public broadcaster NRK, P4 Group and Bauer Media.

Ongoing campaigns to inform the public about the transition to broadcast digital radio have mainly used the radio as their medium. These have frequently been on air on commercial radio stations and on NRK's radio and TV-channels. Digitalradio Norway also operates www.radio.no, which includes news, DAB coverage maps, how-to articles and videos, as well  as information about the growing DAB channel selection in Norway. Digitalradio Norway also uses promoters whose role is to visit car and electronic dealers and advise on DAB and assist on any marketing activities.

To encourage commercial companies to maximise their efforts in promoting digital radio, commercial radio broadcasters offer copromotion opportunities, with on-air DAB-related campaigns which have proven to be very effective in increasing the awareness of DAB with consumers. The main focus is on ensuring availability of DAB in-car adaptors and securing a network of competent installers, and this focus is reflected in marketing and information activities.

 

 

Link to information films, broadcast on NRK and commercial TV-station. http://radio.no/digitalisering/utvider-radiotilbudet/ (in norwegian).

Information film about digital radio

Mythbuster webpage

Myths and mistakes continue to emerge in the discussion of DAB. On this page Digitalradio Norway collected facts. 

The transition from analogue to digital radio is a major technology shift that touches almost all Norwegians. Every day 7 out of 10 Norwegians listen to one or more radio channels. So that radio listeners will be well prepared when FM broadcasts from national channels and commercial channels close next year, it is crucial that people receive the necessary and correct information. A number of myths about the technology shift and the transition to DAB have emerged, this page has been established to illustrate what considerations and decisions underlie the transition.

Digitalradio Norway (which is behind the Mythbuster website and Radio.no) represent the three major broadcasters in Norway (NRK, P4 Group and Bauer Media) . Digitalradio Norway is commissioned to coordinate and implement large parts of the information activities related to the digital radio shift on behalf of the radio channels.

Above is a photo of the whole radio market, presenters and artists, commercial and public.This image is from a major television commercial about digital radio.

Last update: 18-08-2015 - older versions

All relevant tunnels in Norway will have DAB-coverage before FM-shutdown, and all tunnels that require FM-coverage today, will then be equipped with DAB. Contrary to FM, where only a few channels have tunnel coverage, all channels on the outside of a tunnel will be available also on the inside.

In an emergency situation, the Road Authorities will be able to transmit messages on all DAB stations broadcast into the tunnel, from the outside of the tunnel or from the operations central.  This will effectively mean a higher security for all travellers in road tunnels, as messages will reach all radio listeners - not only those listening to a specific channel. In Norway there are approximately 260 road tunnels with broadcasting integrated today. At FM shutoff all of these will have DAB and accordingly all new tunnels longer than 500 meters with annual traffic over 5000 vehicles. 

NRK switches off FM in Southern and Western Norway
WorldDAB Members News - 21.06.2017 - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) - Norway - Norway
On June 21 NRK switched off FM in Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder, Rogaland, Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. So far, the experience the process has gone according to plan, but that there is still a need for information and guidance to the public, especially related to coverage and reception in the car.
From Norwegian Media Authority:

Norwegian national FM networks continue shutdowns
20.06.2017 - Norway - Norway
On 21 June, NRK will shut down FM in Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder, Rogaland, Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane. P4 and Radio Norway will continue on FM in those same counties until 15 September 2017. By the end of 2017, NRK, P4 and Radio Norway will disappear from the FM band across Norway.
From Radio magazine:

Sahaga launch
13.06.2017 - Norway - Norway
Hans Christian Andersen, Chief Executive Officer, Sahaga AS has launched Sahaga TV. An online TV channel dedicated to DAB+. "It´s important to us to showcase all digital radios from POP. This way the public get to know the features, sizes and form factors. This service is best provided by making a TV-show. We most definitively do not have NRK or TV2-standard, but a lot of viewers report back to us", he says."
From Sahaga AS:

Paneda wins another Norwegian contract
WorldDAB Members News - 08.06.2017 - Paneda - Norway - Norway
The radio group “Jærradiogruppen” has ordered a complete DAB Head-end system from Paneda. The system contains 4 DAB Multiplexers with encoders, as well as the metadata content system Rapid from All-In-Media, and will be used in 4 local radio regions.
From Paneda:

Why broadcasters are investing in DAB+ : new content, audiences and business opportunities
06.06.2017 - United Kingdom - United Kingdom - Australia - Australia - Norway - Norway
At Radiodays Europe and RadioAsia this year, we’ve been talking to commercial and public broadcasters about why they use DAB+ and what it enables them to do.
From WorldDAB:

WorldDAB releases videos on why broadcasters go with DAB+
06.06.2017 - United Kingdom - United Kingdom - Australia - Australia - Norway - Norway - Belgium - Belgium
WorldDAB continues to promote DAB+ with a slew of new videos that they conducted with commercial and public broadcasters at this year’s Radiodays Europe and Radiodays Asia. Broadcasters from SBS Australia, Norway, VRT in Belgium and Fun Kids Radio in the U.K. spoke with WorldDAB to explain why they chose to go with digital radio.
From Radio World:

More than 1 million cars now have DAB radio
02.06.2017 - Norway - Norway
Figures released by Kantar TNS from their latest digital radio survey show that over 1 million cars in Norway now have DAB. "More and more cars are mounting DAB radio in the car as digital radio takes over the country. 38 percent of cars currently have a DAB radio, which means that half of car owners who hear radio daily have DAB in the car," said Ole Jørgen Torvmark, Head of Digital Radio Norway. According to the survey, 73 percent of all radio listeners now hear digital radio every day. This is equivalent to more than 2 million Norwegians. DAB is the most widely used digital platform for radio.
From Radio.no:

Digital Radio Norway: 1 million cars with DAB
02.06.2017 - Norway - Norway
Figures released by Kantar TNS from their latest digital radio survey show that 1 million cars in Norway now have DAB. "More and more cars are mounting DAB radio in the car as digital radio takes over the country. 38 percent of cars currently have a DAB radio, which means that half of car owners who hear radio daily have DAB in the car, "said Ole Jørgen Torvmark, head of Digital Radio Norway.
From nyhetsrommet.no:

NRK prepares FM switch off in Southern and Western Norway
31.05.2017 - Norway - Norway
Norway is continuing its digital radio push with the announcement that there is less than a month until public broadcaster NRK's FM broadcasts in Southern and Western Norway are terminated. As of June 21, NRK will only transmit radio digitally to Sogn og Fjordane, Hordaland, Rogaland, Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder.
From Radio World:

Radio Bø goes digital in Norway
WorldDAB Members News - 30.05.2017 - Paneda - Norway - Norway
The radio group “Radio Bø” has ordered a complete DAB Head-end system from Paneda. The system contains a DAB Multiplexers with encoders. The system is delivered as a turn-key solution using the Paneda 1U hardware.

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 5.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 99.5%
Services: 63 DAB, 45 DAB+
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 98%
Total Sales (cumulative): 3,996,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 72%
Last update: 04.04.2017

Useful Links

P4 – largest commercial radio group
Digital Radio Norway
Medietllsynet – Norwegian Media Authorities
NRK - public broadcaster in Norway
Norwegian proposal on the digitization of radio
Ministry of Culture – announcement of digitazation in 2017