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Sweden’s Auditor General Appears to Ignore DAB

One cannot believe everything one reads on the Internet

OSLO� It is axiomatic that one cannot believe everything one reads on the Internet.� A wonderful example of this has been presented with regards to the impending ��shut-down�� of FM broadcasting in Norway.� While it is accepted that 23 local radio stations in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger, along with major national broadcasters, will make the transition from analog to digital DAB broadcast in 2017,200 local commercial and community radio stations outside the country�s four largest cities will continue broadcasting in analog(presumably FM).�

In the week just passed, anarticleasserting that Sweden is on track to switch off FM was published; however, according to (which is probably the most important advocate of DAB+ in Scandinavia) that is far from being true.� Said article asserts that FM will be dropped in Sweden by 2024 latest; however,Radio.noreports that the office of the Swedish Auditor General (OAG) has now �done a review of both technique and economic profitability related to the digitization of radio Sweden, and concludes that radio should remain on FM.��

The article is very critical of the OAG�s report.� Among the criticisms:

�������In both Norway and the UK, there is an actual increase in the usage of radio, which is being attributed to the widespread acceptance of DAB and its focus on new content.� OAG has �made up its mind� that listeners are not interested in larger radio offerings�ignoring the experience of the UK and Norway.

�������OAG is completely ignoring the importance of broadcast radio as a media channel

�������The OAG citeda reportshowing that the mobile networks in Sweden would require more than 10 times their current capacity in order to serve the same number of listeners currently served by radio, thus making reliance on that technology impractical.� At the same time, OAG seemed to ignore the potential benefits of DAB.

�The report pointed out weaknesses with DAB without corresponding analysis of what should have been alternative distribution.� They have no analysis of the consequences for radio by being left as the only analog medium,� said Ole J�rgen Torvmark of Digital Radio Norway.��

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