Norway

Last update: 27-06-2018 - older versions

In December 2017, Norway became the first country to completely switch off national FM services, completeing a year-long process of switching off region by region. 

99.7% of the population has access to DAB+ reception with almost 6 million receivers sold to date.

The switchover process started in January 2017 applied to 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.

Early listening figures show that listeners have followed to digital, with the first regions to switch off FM services close to returning to pre-switchover levels of listening. 

 

Norwegian Media Authority - webpage on the Digital Switchover

The full story of Norway's DSO and results so far - presented at Radiodays Europe 2018 (in English)

 

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: 07-07-2017 - 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.

TPEG traffic data

NRK launched TPEG service 7 July 2017, transmitting over NRK's DAB network with a coverage of 99.5% of the population in Norway. Made possible by using the open traffic data made available by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, it's transmitted as TEC with RDS TMC and/or GLR locations. OpenLR is expected to be available soon as well.

The service is completely free to air, and NRK encourages manufacturers of receivers to make use of the data when possible. For interested parties NRK has example files available for testing, both as TPEG-binary and DAB ETI files.  DAB ETI files will also be available in the WorldDAB ETI Library shortly.

For coverage information, please check: https://radio.no/dekning/  (select "NRK" and "Basisdekning" to show coverage in car).

For any details, questions, comments, errors etc, please contact at tpeg@nrk.no.

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 1 1 2
DAB+ programmes 20 193 213
Total21194215

Last update: 15-02-2018 - older versions

By November 2017 49% of all Norwegian private cars had a DAB+ radio (Digital radio survey, Kantar Media). 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.

Before the switch off 60% of drivers who did not have DAB in the car said they would 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: 27-06-2018 - 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 the facts. 

 

Last update: 27-06-2018 - older versions

All relevant tunnels in Norway  have DAB-coverage. 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. 

Norway's switchover proves challenging but necessary
WorldDAB Members News - 19.09.2018 - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) - Norway - Norway
8 October marked 300 days since national radio stations in Norway switched off their last FM signals, and NRK director Jo Branaes details the lessons learnt.
From Radio World:

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is building DAB facilities in many tunnels
05.09.2018 - Norway - Norway
The Norwegian Road Administration Region has confirmed that DAB+ facilities will be built in 27 tunnels less than 500 meters, despite safety regulations stating that DAB+ is mandatory only for tunnels more than 500 meters long.
From abc nyheter:

DAB+ to be installed in 27 Norwegian tunnels
29.08.2018 - Norway - Norway
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration upgrades 27 short tunnels with DAB coverage. One of these is the Skarett tunnel. "This is a service for road users," says senior engineer Jan Øyvind Pedersen, according to the website of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.
From Ringblad:

Norwegian tunnels to be upgraded to receive DAB+
29.08.2018 - Norway - Norway
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has set up a list of 27 short tunnels in the south region to be upgraded to receive DAB+. According to safety regulations, there must be DAB in new tunnels over 500 meters long. There are also installed DAB facilities in tunnels that previously had FM equipment.
From NRK:

DAB+ in Norway: Increasing numbers of listeners in the first half of the year
WorldDAB Members News - 14.08.2018 - P4 Radio Hele Norge AS - Digitalradio Norge AS - Norway - Norway
The head of Norwegian private radio station P4 Kenneth Andresen alongside Digital Radio Norway have hailed increasing DAB+ listening figures. "If we look at the second quarter, a total of 1,149,000 Norwegians heard the program P4 daily. A year ago, so with VHF, there were only 1,011,000. Last year our listeners listened to our programs for an average of 73 minutes a day. This year, the number will rise to 79 minutes," says P4 Manager Andresen.
From dabplus-radios:

The arguments for DAB+ in Norway
08.08.2018 - Norway - Norway
The DAB debate has resurfaced after comments from the Center Party. One of the of the main arguments for replacing the FM network was that it was largely old and needed a lot of maintenance. Either we spent a lot of money saving equipment from an old standard, or we move to the future in the form of DAB, which is not just a newer technology, but a whole new way to broadcast radio.
From Tek.no:

Sahaga announces new partnership to enable Benelux distribution
02.08.2018 - Norway - Norway
Norwegian radio manufacturer Sahaga will have its product range available in the Benelux region after announcing a partnership with distributor Elvidis.
From Sahaga:

Sahaga POPintro2
23.07.2018 - Norway - Norway
The most practical with POPintro2 are the five direct dial buttons on the front (preset). More than 30 DAB+ channels exist in Norway, so it's very convenient to have the most used channels on these buttons, rather than having to scroll through the entire list to switch channels.
From Radio Butikken:

Sahaga POPurban
16.07.2018 - Norway - Norway
Sahaga POPurban is small and easy. Here you will get national radio on DAB (over 30 channels), and it can be used on 220v and on 4x AA batteries.
From Radio Butikken:

Jon Branæs from NRK comments on DAB+ listening in Norway
WorldDAB Members News - 06.07.2018 - Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) - Norway - Norway
On average, 2.7 million Norwegians listened to at least one of NRK's radio stations during a week in June. Looking at total broadcast listening the decline has been as we expected – and this is because people need time to replace all of their FM devices, especially in cars.
From Aftenposten:

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Key Information

Status: regular
Population: 5.1 million
Population coverage: Sparkline Graph 99.7%
Services: 2 DAB, 213 DAB+
New cars with DAB/DAB+ as standard: Sparkline Graph 98%
Total Sales (cumulative): 5,600,000 devices
Penetration by household: Sparkline Graph 83%
Last update: 17.05.2018

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