Tuesday 8 May 2018

Public Broadcaster in Norway Bluffed About 5G In the FM Band

According to the EBU no such solution is considered
At the Norwegian electronics industry's Digitalforum recently, Gunnar Garfors from the NRK claimed that the public service organisation EBU is discussing using the 5G in FM band. The EBU is discussing using FM for 5G. There is the possibility of a pilot in Norway, said Garfors. There are areas in Norway where there is nothing on FM and tests can be done, Garfors explained. However, this idea was immediately rejected by many experts. Today, on our request, EBU has confirmed that the EBU has no such plans at all.

The EBU is considering possibilities for using 5G for audiovisual media in terms of production and distribution. However, we are not considering the possibility to use either the VHF band II (the FM band) of Band III for 5G.  From our perspective, the band II will continue to be used for FM radio for the foreseeable future, while Band III is the home for DAB + and DVB, writes Darko Ratkaj, Senior Project Manager, EBU Technology & Innovation.

To use band II for 5G is not realistic. The band is not planned for 5G standardization and without it there will be no equipment for that frequency band. Band II is extensively used for FM radio and in many countries these services are likely to continue to operate for a long time. This means that the band cannot be made available for 5G on a harmonised basis.  This would in turn discourage any proposal for 5G standardization in the foreseeable future, he writes.l.

Darko Ratkaj finally notes that the FM band has good propagation (range), but the band is quite narrow (20.5 MHz) which may not make it attractive to 5G.

Several other experts in Norway have also rejected this idea put forward by NRK. It is regarded as an attempt by a desperate DAB lobby to get rid of the increasingly popular local radio which is continuing on FM.  The national channels are now only on DAB+ and have already lost hundred of thousands of listeners.

Read more
New Intitiative: 5G In the FM Band in Norway