Denmark - Regulation and Spectrum - History

19.05.2016

On 29th April 2015 the Danish Ministry of Culture, together with all political parties, finalised and published a new roadmap for digital radio, saying "the limited frequency space on FM means that we will eventually turn off FM". Read the press release here.

The overall focus of the roadmap is to speed up the process of utilising capacity in the DAB network and to secure a more rapid development of the network. 

Key features of the roadmap are:

- decision to switch off FM to be taken when 50% of listening is digital (currently at 28%)

- swap of content on MUX1 and MUX2 at the end of 2016 which will ensure that available frequencies can be brought into use, making it possible to have a commercial network operator of MUX1

- "Gatekeeper Model" will be adopted for MUX 1 (currently owned by Danish Radio) which will drive the market

- full transition from DAB to DAB+ by 1 Oct 2017

- new licences for spare capacity in MUX3 will be available by end 2015

The consensus is that FM shutdown is inevitable, in order to offer listeners more choice and the goal is to stimulate new channels on DAB.  By end 2015 new licences will be available for application, and a shift from DAB to DAB+ is now underway. 

Denmark has one of the highest numbers of DAB users per capita in the world, with 40% of the population having access to a digital radio.  Public service broadcaster DR (Danish Radio) began regular services in 2002 and more than 28% of all radio listening is now on DAB.

29.06.2015

On 29th April 2015 the Danish Ministry of Culture, together with all political parties, finalised and published a new roadmap for digital radio, saying "the limited frequency space on FM means that we will eventually turn off FM". Read the press release here.

The overall focus of the roadmap is to speed up the process of utilising capacity in the DAB network and to secure a more rapid development of the network. 

Key features of the roadmap are:

- decision to switch off FM to be taken when 50% of listening is digital (currently at 28%)

- swap of content on MUX1 and MUX2 at the end of 2016 which will ensure that available frequencies can be brought into use, making it possible to have a commercial network operator of MUX1

- "Gatekeeper Model" will be adopted for MUX 1 (currently owned by Danish Radio) which will drive the market

- full transition from DAB to DAB+ by end 2016

- new licences for spare capacity in MUX3 will be available by end 2015

The consensus is that FM shutdown is inevitable, in order to offer listeners more choice and the goal is to stimulate new channels on DAB.  By end 2015 new licences will be available for application, and a shift from DAB to DAB+ is now underway. 

Denmark has one of the highest numbers of DAB users per capita in the world, with 40% of the population having access to a digital radio.  Public service broadcaster DR (Danish Radio) began regular services in 2002 and more than 28% of all radio listening is now on DAB.

29.04.2015

Key features of regulation for digital radio in Denmark are;

  • Band III
  • DAB MUX 2 the second national multiplex is owned by Danish Radio, however in principle only commercial stations broadcast on DAB MUX 2
  • Switchover criteria - by the end of 2019, if by that time half of all radio listening has migrated to digital platforms

DAB regulation is set by three different bodies in Denmark: The Ministry of Culture legislates for media policy and
licences, the Ministry of Science sets the political framework for frequency applications, and the Danish Business Authority maintains technical management of the frequency spectrum. The latest parliamentary Media Agreement 2012-2014 stipulates that the FM band will close in 2019 if at least 50% of radio listening is on digital platforms by that time. DAB+ has not yet been introduced on the national and regional level, but a local multiplex is on air. Spectrum frequency block allotments are in accordance with the RRC-06 plan, but only the national and two regional multiplexes have been implemented. The regional/local third multiplexes covering 13 allotments are still pending.