Norway to switch off FM in 2017

Within two years from now, the shutdown of national FM-networks begins in Norway. The switchover will begin in the North and will be implemented region by region.


The Ministry of Culture has announced a national FM-switch off, to complete the transition to digital radio. Norway is making an historical move into a new radio era, being the first country in the world to decide upon an analogue switch-off for all major radio channels. With DAB and digital radio, listeners will be provided with more radio channels and greater diversity in content.

Thor Gjermund Eriksen, head of NRK, says:
– This is an important day for everyone who loves radio. The minister`s decision allows us to concentrate our resources even more upon what is most important, namely to create high quality and diverse radio-content to our listeners.

The DAB-coverage in Norway now exceeds FM-coverage. DAB provides Norway with 22 national channels, as opposed to five channels transmitting nationwide on FM.

Switch-off begins 11th January 2017
The decision gives Norwegians a final date for the transition to digital radio, a process persisting for several years. Trygve Rønningen , CEO and editor in chief P4, says:

– We can finally complete the work that has been on-going for many years. This is the best solution for all listeners throughout Norway, as they now have a better radio.

Switch-off starts in Nordland county 11th January 2017 and ends with the northernmost counties Troms and Finnmark 13.12 2017.


NRK, P4 Group and SBS Radio will turn off all its FM broadcasts simultaneously in two of six regions. In four regions however, NRK Radio will lead the way in FM-switch off. Lasse Kokvik , CEO of SBS Radio says:
– The national radio industry have agreed upon a rapid and coordinated plan for the transition, with considerations taken on not giving unreasonable competitive advantages through FM-closing.

Look to Norway
Today’s decision makes Norway the first country in the world to set a final date for FM-switch off. Several countries in Europe and Southeast Asia, however, are in similar processes, choosing DAB-technology as the backbone of future radio distribution.

Ole Jørgen Torvmark , CEO of Digital Radio Norway says:
– The White Paper from 2011 and a unique collaboration between the radio industry is the main reason why Norway is far ahead in the transition to digital radio. Many countries are now looking to Norway to learn.

Ensures a long life for radio
Radio on digital platforms ensures the radio media a long life for years to come. The Radio Industry is better equipped to evolve with listener`s needs and are thus better enabled to adopt to the ever changing patterns of media consumption.
Norway began the transition to DAB in 1995. In recent years two national and several local DAB-networks has been established. 56 per cent of radio listeners use digital radio every day. 55 per cent of households have at least one DAB radio, according to Digitalradio survey by TNS Gallup, continuously measuring the Norwegian`s digital radio habits.

Regional plan for FM switch-off 
(Click the image for a bigger version)

Link to the announcement

For further information, please contact:
Mari Hagerup, Head of communication, Digital Radio Norway
Cell: 0047 920 46 088, Mail:



Norway is in a transition from analogue to digital radio for all national channels and some local channels. Digital radio expands radio reach and multiplies the number of national channels. More than 90 per cent of the population can now listen to 22 national radio channels. The national DAB networks have equally high and partly higher population coverage than national FM networks. DAB coverage along roads is generally better than FM-coverage .



– 56 % of radio listeners use digital radio daily
– 44 % of listeners only use FM radio daily
– 20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio
– 55 % of all Norwegian households have at least one DAB radio.
–  7.9 million radio sets will be affected by FM-extinction. FM radios can be upgraded or recycled.
* Digital radio survey , TNS Gallup 2015


NRK: at least 99,5 % coverage on DAB
Commercial radio: 92.8 % coverage on DAB
Community radio: 50 % DAB coverage on DAB
DAB-covarage on roads are generally higher than on FM. All FM-transmitters in tunnels will be replaced with DAB.