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International

Norway becomes the first country to end nationwide FM radio

16:05, Saturday, 16 December, 2017
Norway becomes the first country to end nationwide FM radio

Norway has completed the move from analog to digital radio, making it the first country to shut down national FM radio broadcasts. The transition began in January to allow for better sound quality and more channels.

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. The transition only involves national radio channels, and most local stations will still broadcast on FM.

Norway, which launched the first digital radio station in 1995, currently has 31 national radio channels on the digital audio broadcasting system (DAB). Digital radio is popular in many European countries, with at least 40 other countries using the technology to some extent.

Only 49 percent of Norwegian motorists are currently able to listen to DAB in their cars, however, according to DRN. Preparing for the change, Norwegians have bought 620,000 DAB radios since mid-September.

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