Wednesday 4 December 2019

EBU Attempting to Stop 5G Terrestrial Radio

Analysis: The DAB project is threatened by a new global listening platform
European Broadcasting Union believes that 5G will be good for television, but not for radio. 5G-Broadcast will not be developed (further) for radio claims Antonio Arcidiacono, EBU director of technology and innovation, at a panel discussion during Medientage in Munich. According to the EBU, one reason is that the introduction of DAB+ in Europe should not be jeopardized by diverting too much attention by discussing a new standard.

Major Broadcasters in Sweden Want EU Requirement for FM in Cars

A strategic step for saving DAB radio and a struggle for survival
According to a new EU Kodex directive all new passenger cars must be equipped to receive "terrestrial digital radio" from December 21, 2021. The Swedish government is now forced to include the rule in the Vehicle Regulation. However, the three major Swedish radio broadcasters now want the requirement to apply to FM receivers as well. But things are not always the way they look ..

Austria Now Testing 5G Broadcast Radio & Television

DAB skeptical public broadcaster will air three radio channels in Vienna
The terrestrial digital radio of the future now comes via the Internet, not DAB. Austrian transmitter network operator ORS is planning tests with TV and radio channels in 5G Broadcast mode in Vienna. The media agency KommAustria has approved a project to be implemented at the two major broadcast sites in Vienna (Kahlenberg and Liesing). The authority will assign a channel in the 700MHz band December 2019-June 2020.

Monday 25 November 2019

A DAB Radio Superman Haunts Colombia

El transformador de la radio
Why is the Norwegian government supporting promotional campaigns abroad?
The DAB system has a hard time getting an impact around the world. Canada left DAB many years ago and today HD Radio is the digital platform for terrestrial radio in North America and Mexico. But DAB interests will not give up the Americas. A central figure in the Norwegian lobby last week lectured at radio conferences in Medellin and Bogota in Colombia. He presented slanted graphics and exaggerated statements including withholding important truths about DAB and FM in Norway as well as in Europe.

Thursday 21 November 2019

National DAB Radio for Swedish Public Broadcaster Not In Sight

Applying for continued supplementary broadcast permit 2020.
Sveriges Radio (SR) seeking permission to broadcast national digital radio (DAB) has been interpreted by some as the public broadcaster has a go-ahead for a national DAB network. However, SR does not intend to make  any changes to the present DAB regional coverage or channel offerings with a renewed broadcast permit starting 2020. The application for a national DAB permit which the company has submitted is a ”to be prepared for any political decision on digital radio". No such political considerations are currently on the table at the Ministry of Culture. Nor is it likely that any proposal indicating tax financing a DAB built-up will have a chance of surviving in the parliament (Riksdagen) before the next 2022 election.

Tuesday 12 November 2019

Norway: Big Losses for National Radio and Television. DAB Radio Disaster

                                          Picture: Oppland Arbeiderblad
However, Local radio on FM is healthy
A new report from the Media Authority shows that for the first time, that national Norwegian television and radio channels has experienced a sharp fall in advertising revenues of more than NOK 200 million. 2018 is the first year we see advertising revenue fall. Loss from the peak year 2017 is NOK 212 million, or 4.7 per cent, says Mari Velsand, MD of the media authority. 

The commercial radio sector with only one source of funding is more exposed and vulnerable than the television sector.  It is reported that radio channels which  broadcast on DAB exclusively have large operating deficits and that many lose more than they earn from broadcasting on DAB.

Friday 8 November 2019

Heavy Cuts For Irish Public Service Company RTÉ

200 employees are laid off. Closing the DAB radio network. 
Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), one of the world's oldest public broadcasters, must save an additional € 60 million in 2020-2023. RTÉ has ​​cut costs by 23 percent over the last ten years, but still has a poor economy due to reduced revenue from the TV fee. Five radio channels will be gone, but RTÉ is investing for a future on-line.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Disastrous Low DAB Radio Listening in Norway

Local radio on FM biggest threat to transition scheme
The transition from FM to DAB in 2018 for national radio presented a well expanded choice of channels by the three actors; public broadcaster NRK and commercial companies Swedish NENT and German Bauer. But radio listening did not increase, instead the audience was fragmented and advertising revenue decreased. In the national DAB bouquet of radio channels, 70% have less than 2% listening some have so few listeners, hardly possible to measure. The parliament now will decide to protect the two commercial companies from local competition on FM in the four big cities (Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim).

Saturday 12 October 2019

Finland: Radio Industry Wants FM as Standard in Cars

EU directive on car radio challenged
In 2020, an EU requirement is that car radio receivers in new passenger cars should be able to receive and reproduce radio services provided via digital terrestrial radio broadcast. In Finland, which has opted out of DAB already 2007, the radio industry wants a requirement for FM receivers. In a joint statement, public service company Yle, the commercial radio organization Radiomedia and the media organization Medialiitto write that the EU directive must be supplemented when it is implemented as a law in Finland

Monday 24 June 2019

Parliament of Second Largest State in Germany Says Farewell to DAB+

Asking for a market-driven transition to a more modern technology
The Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) state parliament wants to end the promotion of the terrestrial transmission standard DAB+ for digital radios. A request from the liberal party FDP was unanimously adopted on June 19. The resolution recommendation calls on the state government jointly with the federal government to switch off DAB+ in favor of other standards such as 5G. Last year DAB was questioned by Auditors and business in Lower Saxony.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Problems For Commercial Radio Abandoning the FM Band

Head of Bauer commercial radio in Norway replaced. DAB still a flop.
The CEO of Bauer Media in Norway for six years, Lasse Kokvik, has promptly left his job, without having another one in the pipeline. The new boss Jim Receveur, is CEO of Bauer Media Danmark, will retain his role as CEO of the Danish part of the company. Bauer is one of two commercial radio networks in Norway. Main channel is Radio Norge but Bauer is also operating another seven channels in the DAB network. The rapid change of throne occurs as the economy for Bauer's Norwegian operation is deteriorating while many listeners reject DAB radio. At the same time, Bauer is profitable in the neighboring countries, where they still broadcast on FM.

Friday 7 June 2019

The Inconvenient Truth About DAB. Does the Norwegian Government Know?

Radio organization demands objective facts on the table.
Did the Norwegian government, and in particular its Ministry of Culture, take into account the market-related and technical deficiencies with the DAB system before a political decision was made, the radio organisation Kringskastingslaget (the Broadcasting Team) asks in a letter to the government. From where in Norway and abroad have independent facts been obtained besides what has been provided the DAB stakeholders NRK, Norkring, Bauer, MTG and Digitalradio Norge as well as the European lobby organization WorldDAB.

DAB Radio Should Be Removed from Frequency Band in Sweden

Obsolete system without future demand waste of frequency resources
The Swedish public service radio is well set for the future with its distribution via a robust FM network and mobile/fixed broadband. The choice, like Finland, completely remove DAB radio from VHF band III (172-240 MHz) should be easy says the Public Service Council (PSR) in its consultation response to the investigate report Radio spectrum use in the future - Frequencies in the service of society. The PSR can in all respects support the investigation analysis for continued importance of the FM network which for emergency and security policy reasons cannot be replaced by other systems for EAS (Emergency Alert System).

Tuesday 21 May 2019

49 Shades of Grey - Why DAB Will Not Survive as Platform for Future Radio

Market and technical deficiencies presented in a new report
The Public Service Council in Sweden has released a 17 page report by a Nordic Radio Workgroup  DAB facts 2019 - Crucial problems and disadvantages with the digital system DAB  for terrestrial sound broadcasting. This report puts a finger on a sore point. As a transmission and listening platform DAB is in many parts inferior to other systems as the global standard FM or the global expanding mobile and fixed broadband platform. For the first time most DAB deficiencies and shortfalls are presented in an international report  independent from any stakeholder. 

BBC Extending 5G Radio Broadcast Trial in Scotland

Listeners very satisfied with range of stations and reception quality.
The BBC’s ground-breaking 5G broadcast radio trial in the rural community Stronsay, Orkney, has been extended until the end of September 2019. The trial began in February this year with residents in Stronsay becoming some of the first people in the world to receive live radio broadcasts over 5G mobile networks.

British Government Will Review Digital Radio

Will focus on growing challenges by online audio delivery
A new review of digital radio has been announced by Margot James, Minister for Digital and Creative Industries.James has confirmed the Government’s support for the radio sector and announced that the DCMS will collaborate with radio broadcasters and the supply chain on a review and programme of work to ‘ensure a healthy and vibrant digital future for UK radio’.                                   (Photo: Radio Today)

Saturday 11 May 2019

FM Radio Extension in Norway. Another Setback for DAB Stakeholders

Media Authority proposes local radio may continue until 2026. But minority radio in metropolitan areas might be wiped out.
A transition from FM to DAB will cost close to NOK 1 billion.
A local FM broadcasts ban by 2021 would reduce media pluralism, according to the media authority Medietilsynet. In a report commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, it is recommended that the 198 local radio stations, both commercial and community radio, may continue on FM for another five years. The future of local radio has involved many Norwegians. The Media Authority has received views from over a hundred organizations, stakeholders and listeners in connection with the work on the report. But now the ball is at Stortinget - the parliament -which will take a decision soon.

Saturday 4 May 2019

Switzerland: FM Radio Switch-Off Delayed Until 2024 - If Ever.

The radio industry hesitates. DAB listening is not increasing.
Switzerland has so far been the only other country, after Norway, who planned to switch-off  FM radio. But now FM seems to continue for five years. Much because the Internet becoming the most important radio platform. A spokesman for the telecommunications authority says to the Zürich daily Tages Anzeiger that there now appears to be opinions that the radio industry has not yet taken decisions on planning for FM shutdown and that the FM frequencies can be shut down later than expected, in 2024. Thus, the previous objective is missed to close in 2021. 

Netherlands Setback: More Radio Stations Leaving DAB Network

Too few listen to DAB radio. Dutch rather go online.
LX Classics and Hotradio Hits have left their broadcast positions in the national multiplex MTVNL. There is a great dissatisfaction with digital terrestrial radio on the distribution side in Holland. The transmitter network is too expensive. Above all, the real listening is too limited in order to justify the investments. The radio stations begin to focus on a future on the Internet. (Satellifax)

Population Said to Be Satisfied with Radio in Norway

DAB lobby tries to manipulate political opinion 
A recent study commissioned by,the Media Authority (Medietilsynet) claims that the majority of the population is satisfied with radio in Norway. There is no government assignment that forms the basis of this study, but it seems to be an informally ordered survey carried out in collaboration with NRK, the P4 group (NENT) and Bauer Media. The telephone survey covers 1,000 people, thus claimed to represent a population of 5 million. The survey is published just in time for an upcoming proposal about the future for local radio on FM.                                             (Pic: VG Oslo)

Monday 29 April 2019

The DAB Backlash: Only Half of The Population Now Listen to Radio

Record low radio listening in Norway confirmed by government audience research
Only about half of the population listened to regular radio (FM, DAB or local radio), Internet radio or both daily in 2018. It is a record low. The average listening was 1 hour and 8 minutes, according to the Norwegian Media Barometer survey for the authority Statistics  Norway (SSB) - This is both the lowest proportion of radio listeners and the lowest listening time we have measured during the years the survey has been conducted, says Emma Castillo Schiro, responsible for the Norwegian Media Brometer 2018.

Sunday 7 April 2019

Norway On the Road to Retain FM Radio

Local Radio Consultation: Strong Univocal Resistance to DAB.
Norway seems to join the rest of the world by accepting the global broadcast standard FM. The media authority has the government's task to investigate whether local radio could continue on FM after 2021. Among 55 consultation referrals, only the three national DAB stakeholders are against continued FM. Meanwhile politicians from several parties in the parliament have already committed themselves for a continued FM for local radio (See separate stories below). However, DAB stakeholders will continue their lobbying for a total FM switch-off.

Politicians Want Local Radio to Continue on FM in Norway

Local radio stations and listeners opt out of DAB
Will local radio continue on FM? That was the big issue in the political debate at the national annual conference, organized by the Norwegian local radio association in Oslo on 5 April.  On the same day, Kantar Media presented measurements that show that FM is by far the most important platform for local radio. 73% of the listening is on FM. When it comes to closing FM, Norway is still an island in the world. No other country has such plans.

Norway: Authority Fines Local FM Radio In Order to Protect Commercial DAB

Radio stations risk bankruptcy. Bureaucracy moves to kill retainment of FM.
The Norwegian media authority fines NOK 1.05 million three local radio stations, which the Media Authority believes have had much larger advertising revenues than the broadcasting conditions allow. The decision, which came the day before the Norwegian local radio association began its annual conference in Oslo on April 5, is seen by many as provocative and as an ordering job for the two commercial companies that broadcast nationally at DAB.  On top of this the authority is in the midst of a ministry ordered investigation about a ten year extension of FM license period for local radio.

Saturday 23 March 2019

Market Signals a Lost Radio Technology

Chip manufacturer losses widen amid weaker DAB sales
British tech company Frontier Smart Technologies Ltd  reported annual pre-tax losses widened as revenues fell by more than a fifth amid weaker digital radio (DAB) sales. For the year ended 31 December 2018, pre-tax losses widened to $3.3m from $2.1m a year earlier, and revenue fell 21% to $41.8m according to  According to our analysis the global smartphone revolution will curb future demand for stand-alone radio sets.

Monday 18 March 2019

India has the world's cheapest mobile broadband

Handy smartphones replacing stand-alone radio and tv receivers as data prices are reaching new lows.
India's plummeting data prices have hit a new low. In fact, according to a recent BBC report, the country has the cheapest mobile broadband prices in the world. The report, citing a UK-based price comparison site, said that 1 gigabyte (GB) of mobile data cost $0.26 in India (£0.20), compared with $12.37 in the US, $6.66 in the UK, and a global average of $8.53. But many Indian users said they were actually paying less than $0.10 a GB. Whatever the true cost, what is clear is that mobile data in India is many times cheaper than elsewhere. 

Monday 11 March 2019

Mandatory DAB for Receivers in New Cars Might Kill Radio

Slanted lobby facts are confusing manufacturers and consumers

The all-electric cars are much around the corner. Volvo has presented its new all-electric car which will be produced in China next year. Polestar 2 is one of the first cars in the world to embed an infotainment system powered by Android.  -  A Connected Car will not be hit by the regulating efforts to force DAB radio into new cars as long it is not also equipped with a stand-alone in-car radio.

Sunday 10 March 2019

Sweden: No Commercial DAB Without a Government Frequency Guarantee

Private terrestrial digital radio is postponed - again. 
Listeners and public service broadcaster is turning its back on DAB.
NENT (formerly MTG), may postpone the start of national DAB+ broadcasts until July 1, when 35 percent of the population should be able to receive. One year later, 50% must be reached and on July 1, 2021 the network must be expanded to a coverage of 70% of the population. NENT has requested a postponement of the DAB start due to "technical and organizational challenges". The fact that other license holders (as Bauer) have been deferred with the first launching start to January 1, 2020, contributes to the request being admitted by the media authority.

Thursday 7 March 2019

Government Decision in Spain: No DAB Radio

Lack of consumer interest and the rise of 5G might kill DAB
Spain wants to keep the analog FM radio and will not introduce terrestrial digital radio DAB+. The government decision to postpone discussions on the introduction of DAB in Spain has led to frustration among DAB advocates incl. the opposition party Coalició Compromís, which accuses the government to rather be 5G oriented in the national digitalization process. 

Sunday 3 March 2019

While 5G Launches Globally Interest for DAB Radio Fades.

(Pic: EBU)
Demands in Austria for radio and TV to be received via 5G without a SIM card.
At the mobile telecom conference in Barcelona 5G was the focus. It is now announced that the radio industry in Austria wants 5G to replace terrestrial digital TV broadcasts (DVB-T2 HD). The public service company ORF and its subsidiary broadcast provider ORS as well as private broadcasters now require space for a 5G broadcasting network on the UHF band 470-700 megahertz, which should continue to be reserved for radio and television, according to the "Standard" newspaper. Meanwhile, terrestrial DAB radio will be abandoned by ORF.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

While Digital Radio Online Grow Rampant DAB Lobby Deceives Politicians

Analysis: DAB will not survive FM and Internet Radio. Norway loser.
Despite 24 unsuccessful years since its launching and the Internet's increasing dominance, lobby interests continue efforts to replace FM with the European system DAB - since 1995. With the exception of the Norwegian NRK, however, broadcasters are realizing that DAB no longer belongs to the future radio landscape. Nowadays, the "digital radio" listening platform today and for the future means online - in Sweden, France, the United States and most other countries. Meanwhile FM, the world broadcast standard, remains strong in 219 countries.

Monday 4 February 2019

Continued Radio Setback After FM Closure in Norway

Pic: Opplands Arbeiderblad
Only 6 out of 10 Norwegians now listening to the radio. 
Public radio not a longer with the majority population.
The latest CATI survey from Kantar confirms previous information that radio listening in Norway remains at a very low level since 2017 in comparison with other Nordic countries. The reason for the decline is primarily the world-unique decision to force listeners of national radio to switch to DAB. - Listening in the fourth quarter of 2018 totalled 59.1%. NRK dominates with one third of the population; 37.4%. NRK's strongest card is P1; 23.1% and regional broadcasts; 19.8% The two foreign owned commercial national networks have only 16 per cent. Local radio has 13.6 and foreign radio (mainly SR) 1.6%

Thursday 24 January 2019

Security Policy Proposal in Sweden: DAB Might Lose Its Frequency Space

A green light for continued FM at least until 2047.
2019 might be the last year for the residual DAB in Sweden.

An inquiry into how the radio frequencies are to be used during the period 2027-2047 proposes that the Armed Forces will get space in the band 174-240 MHz, which is currently used by DAB radio and digital TV. At the international level, the inquiry suggests that Sweden should push for the bands 470-694 MHz and 174-240 MHz (VHF band III) are allocated that the frequencies can be utilized for two different types of radio platforms. - It is thus possible that Sweden now will follow Finland's example and clear DAB out of band III.