Thursday 8 October 2015

Car Industry in Norway: Postpone an FM Switch-Off

Oppland Arbeiderblad
Most cars still without DAB radio. Discontent and complaints.
The Norwegian car importers and dealership are again expressing strong skepticism regarding a planned FM radio closure 2017. Few cars in Norway are still not equipped with DAB radio, and there are complicated solutions for installation in old cars. Especially utilitarian transports as vans, trucks and busses are not DAB-able. This was revealed by Tore Lillermork from BIL - the car import association - at a DAB meeting at the Media Authority.

With only one year and some months left until the first national FM-transmitters are going to be closed still 2 million cars are without DAB radio. 2014 two thirds of new cars were delivered with DAB. But this shows that a considerable part of new car owners do not care about DAB in spite of the announced FM closure.

Several of BIL members report poor DAB road coverage. Customers are critical to flimsy adapter in-car solutions both less ergonomical and also dangerous for driving. Many customers drive long-distance to other countries where there are no DAB radio (as in neighboring Sweden and Finland where FM is retained).

According to Lillermork the problem is that Norway is out of step with the rest of the world. Norway is too small country for promoting its own solutions on the car market - especially for vans, trucks and buses. For vans only 30 % are delivered with DAB radio, for trucks and buses almost none.

Lillermork notes that other countries ask themselves if DAB really is the radio of the future. No other country in the world has yet decided to close FM.  BIL is positive to DAB, but it is far too early for an FM closure.

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