The digital network in Norway is scheduled to be operational when the current FM network closes in 2017. The installations have started well and many geographic areas have already received DAB+ coverage. Norway uses radio to reach road users with messages when driving in tunnels. When a incident happens in a tunnel, other road users will be notified of the incident and will be given instructions on what to do.
How will the new DAB technology work?
There are some benefits with the DAB technology. DAB+ technology allows radio reception for all channels in tunnels and not just for the national broadcasting radio channel, as the situation is in today's FM network. The DAB technology also makes it possible to break into the broadcasts of all channels with the same message at the same time. DAB technology allows the authorities to communicate with all road users listening to radio in the tunnel, with both traffic information and emergency messages. Earlier events show that emergency response to those in a critical situation in the tunnel can be decisive for the outcome. As part of the installations in Norway, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration has, through a public research and development project, specified how the technology for «intersection» should work in road tunnels.
However, there have been many questions about whether everyone will use DAB, and if the traffic Control Centre will reach everyone in the tunnel with their emergency messages over radio. Not all vehicles are delivered with DAB+ technology, and certainly not before 2017. And what about tourists or foreign long-haul vehicles that have not installed DAB radio? These issues is especially relevant in the transition between FM and DAB, and will be a issue in the discussions when the FM broadcast closes down in Norway.