Norway Becomes First Country to Eliminate FM Radio

FM radio
Source: CNNMoney/Shutterstock

Norway has become the first country to phase out FM radio, a process that began last week and will be completed by the end of 2017.

The Nordic country is switching from FM to Digital Audio Broadcasting, a.k.a. DAB, because digital offers more channels and better audio quality at a lower cost.

“The main reason that Norway is the first is because of the Norwegian landscape, which has deep fjords, high mountains and scattered communities,” the government said in a statement. “This makes it particularly expensive to operate the Norwegian FM networks compared with other countries.”

However, critics say the switch is premature, as millions of Norwegians do not have digital radios or adapters.

While Norway has become the first country to ditch FM, the UK says it will consider phasing out FM radio once 50 percent of listeners use DAB. According to Gizmodo, the figure is currently at 35 percent.

Switzerland is also considering a switch.

Related: iHeartMedia Launches New Latin Division, iHeartLatino