NENT Nordic Entertainment Group will start broadcasting via DAB+ digital radio in Sweden on Jan 1, 2019. Smaller broadcasters DB Media and Skärgårdsradion will also join the digital network.
In total, 15 digital stations will broadcast on DAB+ from January. According to Swedish Press, Radio and Television Authority’s license conditions, which run from 2014 to Sept. 20, 2022, the new digital network must reach 35 percent of the population by April 2019, 50 percent by 2020 and 70 percent the following year.
NENT has 11 national DAB+ licenses, while DB Media has one national and one regional license. Skärgårdsradion will broadcast DAB+ in Stockholm and on Gotland island.
“We can see that digital listening is increasing, while space is limited in FM technology,” said Daniel Bengtzzon, CEO and sales manager at DB Media. “We think it’s time to invest in digital, to avoid issues in 22: The listeners will not turn to digital unless we offer it.”
According to Bengtzzon, they plan on rolling out channels in the metropolitan areas first, then gradually extending to national coverage.
“We are pleased that the commercial digital broadcasting will now start,” commented Charlotte Ingvar-Nilsson, director general, MPRT.
Bauer Media AB, NRJ Sweden AB and Norrköping Radio & Co AB, on the other hand, have requested further delay with the launch. MPRT has granted them deferral until Jan. 1, 2020.
In 2015, Riksdagen, the Swedish parliament, rejected the proposal to replace FM with DAB+ in the country.