Sweden looking at all-digital FM


TowersAccording to the Alaska Dispatch News, which has an interst in all things Arctic, Sweden may be on the path to transforming its FM service into an entirely digital medium by 2022.

The move is supported by the nation’s commercial and public broadcasters. Now it simply needs to be supported by the government.

The move is expected to have long-run cost benefits and would greatly add to program diversity. However, it would necessitate discarding all analog receivers, a process that would require dual analog/digital broadcast for anywhere from five to eight years.

In terms of actual stations, the number is microscopic to those familiar with US radio broadcasting – Sweden has only six FM stations, four noncoms and two commercial. Nina Wormbs, who was appointed by the government to set up a possible transition, hopes that digital technology could allow existing broadcasters to go from six to as many as 30 program streams.

Including those in vehicles, about 10 million radio receivers would suddenly become paperweights if the plan is adopted.