Thursday 13 September 2018

Massive NATO Exercise in Norway Might Jam DAB Radio

Broadcasting might interfere with military communication
The massive NATO exercise in Norway known as Trident Juncture is starting this week. It can interfere with DAB radio signals. It’s unclear whether the country’s communications network will meet the demands placed on it. The NATO exercise will involve 40.000 soldiers from all 29 NATO countries plus Sweden and Finland. Telecom provider Telenor can’t rule out ill effects on both DAB and mobile signals. - Long time freguency conflict between broadcasters and military still unsolved.

The network may fail and there can be incidents that put the mobile network temporarily out of service, Bjørn Amundsen, in charge of coverage for Telenor, told state broadcaster NRK. “But we have boosted preparedness, and I think things will go well.” Telenor is especially concerned for the area around the Rygge air base in Østfold, south of Oslo, and around the military base at Sessvollmoen near Gardermoen.

Norwegians aren’t the only ones frustrated and dissatisfied after Norway’s forced transition to DAB radio. It meant shutting down FM radio, and now NATO may find itself in conflict with the civilian DAB frequencies it was granted for exercises in Norway. Nagging problems and conflicts continue to arise.  The public broadcaster NRK will continue its DAB transmissions on this by broadcasters and military contested part of the VHF III band (230-240 MHz). Politicians and authorities were reportedly warned before they imposed DAB on the civilian population that it could cause problems in crisis situations.

The reason behind the collision course between the broadcasting sector and the military is the efforts by the European Broadcasting Union - the public broadcasting organisation - to bag this part of the VHF III band for civilian use i.e. DAB radio. The EBU claimed that the military was not in any need of this space. But that was decades ago when peace was seen as eternal and Europe was disarming itself. This frequency conflict is still not solved. In any case today there is an excess of frequency space for DAB in the lower part of the VHF III band, as the demand for DAB radio is not on the rise as before anticipated.


Also read
Nato-øvelse kan påvirke DAB (NTB/Journalisten)
Defense System Conflict Another DAB Scandal in Norway