Germany moves to make FM-only radio receivers illegal

By James Cridland for
Posted 12 May 2017, 5.14am edt

James Cridland

In Germany, the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, has presented a draft amendment to the country's Telecommunications Act, which seeks to forbid FM-only radio receivers.

The amendment would stipulate that "high-quality audio receivers" may only be sold if they can receive digital (DAB+ and internet) signals as well as analogue FM. The rule applies to "devices which can display the program name" - i.e. RDS-equipped FM sets; it's intended to be used to ensure that all car radio receivers have DAB+ and internet capability.

The amendment also requires mobile phones sold in the country to have multi-standard chipsets, able to receive both FM and DAB+. (The practical upshot of this could be, I'd think, that FM reception is removed from phones sold in Germany, since that would remove the obligation for them to also receive DAB+).

The rules could apply just one year after the amendment is made law. The draft was adopted by the Federal Cabinet on May 3, though it is still a way from becoming final legislation.

According to the EBU, just 3.4% of total radio listening in Germany is to DAB. The same figure is 32.9% in the UK. Almost all major AM broadcasting has ceased in Germany.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


3 years, 11 months ago

Is that one of those "click bait" headlines?

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