Local radio spokesman: DAB is a redundant technology
In Norway the media and telecom authorities have issued permits for local radio in 9 out of 37 regions allocated for local DAB broadcasting. But there was only one application per region and a total of six companies or organisations including “Digital Norge” which is the DAB promoting organisation. In 8 other regions there were more than one application and here there will be an auction March 7. The remaining 20 regions are still vacant and permits will be issued on a first come basis for qualified applicants before June 30, 2013.
Today the digital developments seem to be very costly for small scale broadcasting outside the metropolitan areas says Erik Fagernæs managing director of Norsk Lokalradioforbund (the Norwegian Local Radio Association). He says the local radio in Norway will stay on FM anyway. He also question if there is any need of DAB for local radio station which are now also on the Internet. The digital transmission network is actually becoming a redundant technology Fagernæs says.
Norsk Lokalradioforbund is the national organsation for both local commercial radio and local non-commercial radio (community radio).
Slow household uptake for DAB in Norway and Denmark
A survey by TNS Gallup now shows a not so good picture of DAB enthusiasm by the Norwegian households. 31 percent now listen to radio via digital platforms of different kinds as Internetradio via computer, pads and mobile phones, digital-tv (DVB-T2) and DAB.
However, the organisation behind this survey – Digitalradio Norge – will not reveal how much of this digital listening is via the DAB system. According to the market organisation Elektronikkbransjen the sale of DAB receivers increased by 64 % from 2011 to 2012 but still 72 % of all radio receivers sold last year were FM receivers. This is in spite of plans that public service and major commercial broadcasters should leave FM by 2019. The DAB-network now reaches 80 % of the households in Norway.
In Denmark it is planned that at least a half of the listening should be digital before public radio and other major companies should leave FM. This is planned for 2019 but last year only 14 % of the listening was digital.
There are no political decsions in Denmark and Norway to close the FM band. it will still be open for local and community broadcasters also after a transition by major broadcasters. households are still on FM and it is now a possibility that the transition now must be postponed