Norway Plans To Become The First Country In The World Without FM Radio Signal

3.5 mm audio jack is ditched by Apple, HTC, and probably Samsung, but one analog technology is still residing inside our smartphones. The FM radio will soon become a relic of the past, at least according to Norway’s government, which plans to switch off its FM radio network. The move, if performed, will make Norway the first country in the world without the FM radio network.

Although the government already decided to shut down the network, which should take place as early as next week, around 66 percent of Norwegians don’t approve the decision. Only 17 percent of Norwegians are in favor, meaning that two-thirds of the population are against the move. Further, more than 2 million cars in Norway aren’t equipped with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receivers, another fact that makes the government’s decision quite strange.

According to the Norwegian government, the decision has been made because digital networks are able to carry more radio bands. The shutdown will start in the Bodoe, a small city located in the north of the country, with the FM radio network completely gone by the end of 2017. Norway is the first country to go with the shutdown, but there are more countries that currently have plans for shutting down FM radio network. Among them are Switzerland, Britain, and Denmark.

The bright side of the vanishing of FM radio is that Norway is already completely covered by Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) network. Also, there are digital adapters for FM car radios, so even cars without DAB receiver can switch to it with the help of an adapter.

Ole Joergen Torvmark, head of Digital Radio Norway, stated that “We’re the first country to switch off FM but there are several countries going in the same direction.”

On the other side, Ib Thomsen, an MP from the Progress Party, stated that “We are simply not ready for this yet,” and that “There are 2 million cars on Norwegian roads that don’t have DAB receivers, and millions of radios in Norwegian homes will stop working when the FM net is switched off. So there is definitely a safety concern.”

Thomsen’s statement makes sense. People without DAB receivers won’t be able to use radio, and not everyone wants to buy a relatively expensive adapter just to be able to switch to digital. But, as these kinds of situations usually go, the most probable end to all this digital conundrum is that the FM network will be switched off and that most people will eventually end up with an adapter.

This experiment of sorts will show will a country can function without the FM radio. Most countries of the world already switched to the digital television signal and it all went smooth. Will the FM radio soon ride towards sunset? If Norway manages to go through the transition smoothly, FM radio will become another museum piece.

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