Looks like Norway will become the first country in the world to completely phase out FM radio over the next two years, in favor of digital audio broadcasting. The cost savings is pretty significant, according to a press release issued: “The cost of transmitting national radio channels through the FM- network is eight times higher than with the DAB-network”.
The DAB model is really interesting, surprisingly (to me) as of this writing, 43 countries use this as a communications medium.
Digital audio isn’t a new technology, I’m pretty familiar with its use in two way communications, specifically trunked radio systems going digital for encryption purposes. This usually results in many more transmission sites, poor/choppy audio and a myriad of complaints from those using the system if it isn’t done right. But that’s here in the states where there’s a limited number of frequency ranges available for use, with the higher frequencies unable to reach long distances without repeaters all over the place.
I’m really interested in how the spectrum is going to be handled in Norway, if they’ll be using low frequency terrestrial transmitters, or multiple higher frequency sites. I’m sure some of the information is out there…my inner-geek has been awoken, need to learn more about this.