Monday 8 December 2014

DAB Radio Cannot Replace FM in Cars in Sweden

Digital radio proposal missed importance of in-car radio
- including foreign visitors on Swedish roads
In an article in Sweden's no.1 daily Dagens Nyheter the two major car organizations Bil Sweden and Motormännen write that the DAB radio proposal recently presented to the government "seems to have forgotten that three out of ten radio listeners sit in a car".  The proposed time table for switching off FM 2024 is too tight. Millions of cars with FM receivers only will still be in use ten years from now.

It seems also forgotten that Sweden's neighboring world is comprising more than just Norway, comments Gunnar Bergvall president of the Public Service Council.

There are no indications today that indicates that DAB+ will be a standard in most countries. Neither will FM be abandoned as a global standard, Bergvall continues. For example already 2009 Finland rejected the outdated DAB system.

There are a lot of foreign traffic on Swedish roads, tourist as well as commercial transports. Those cars, buses and truck cannot be expected to be equipped with DAB radio. Should a driver from Finland not be able to tune in to the public service channels, especially the local traffic information and emergency warnings?

Regarding the need for expanded access to information and musical entertainment online radio via mobile broadband will be a good complement. Internet capacity is steadily increasing, now on 4G/LTE and in couple of years also with 5G.  Online radio is a natural part of Connected Cars which Volvo and the major German car manufacturers have on sale, says Bergvall.

2012 the number of cars on Sweden was estimated to be 4,4 million, 560.000 trucks and 14.000 buses. All are expected to be equipped with FM in-car radio. Average life span for cars in Sweden is 15 years.

BIL Sweden (Car Sweden) represents manufacturers and importers of cars, trucks and buses. Together members represent 99% of all new registrations in Sweden. Motormännen (National Assn of Motorists) members are individual motorists.