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Norway becomes the first country to switch off FM signal

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By Mark Armstrong
Norwegian state radio switches off FM in favour of digital
Norwegian state radio switches off FM in favour of digital

Norway has become the first country in the world to shut down national broadcasts on its FM radio network. From now on all the state broadcaster's radio programmes can only be heard via DAB - or Digital Audio Broadcasting.

The Scandinavian country made the final switch to DAB on Thursday, when the last FM signal was switched off in the counties of Troms and Finnmark.

"There will be new products in the next months", explained LIne Langnes of the Norwegian Media Authority earlier this year. "You will have touch screens and it will be possible to read to texts on the display".

But older people in particular maybe not be so familiar with digital radio. One Norwegian newspaper reported that national public broadcaster NRK has lost a fifth of its listeners since January when the process of switching from FM started. Some technical problems have also been reported. But the government says DAB radio will save money, allow for more broadcasters, and ultimately sound better.