Friday, 15 April 2016

FM Band in Sweden Will Open For More Commercial Radio

Commercial 8 year permits from 2018 confirms end of DAB prospects
The telecom authority PTS has been commissioned by the government to revise the frequency plan for analog commercial radio in Sweden. The government is striving to promote competition and diversity for the overall broadcasting sector and wants to give good conditions for a vital commercial radio says the Ministry of Culture. PTS will also look into the possibility of expanded coverage area for commercial radio.

Commercial radio, i.e. the two major operators Bauer and MTG, have pushed for more frequencies for national channels especially since the recent political decision to reject the proposal for a shift from FM to DAB+.  

PTS will not propose any change the frequency allocations for public radio and community radio in Sweden. There will still be at least one FM frequency assigned for community radio in each city or municipally.

PTS should report its findings to the government not later than June 30, 2017.


This mission confirms that Sweden has finally opted out of DAB because it will not be economically viable to operate two terrestrial radio networks in parallel.

The government has indicated that it will follow the issue of digital terrestrial radio internationally but has not committed itself to DAB+ or any other system. In case this issue will be on the future agenda other more modern systems as DRM, DVB-T2 and LTE Broadcast will also be of interest.

The mission to PTS is a final rejection of the claim that "we need DAB because the FM band is full".  Meanwhile radio listening online is steadily increasing in Sweden. 30 % of public service listening is now via the Internet. 

Sweden has now joined Finland as a non-DAB country with a robust FM network and high capacity mobile and fixed broadband.

Read the full text (in Swedish) of
The Ministry of Culture mission letter to the telecom authority.

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