"DAB Has No Future" in Sweden

Swedish Radio’s hopes of a revival in government interest in Digital Audio Broadcasting have been dashed by the new Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.

After several hundred million kronor in investments in the digital radio system, the previous Social Democrat Swedish government pulled the plug on DAB one year ago. The system had few listeners, largely because retailers had failed to sell the special receivers required. Ironically the government decision came just as the first receivers appeared in stores here.

An international standard, DAB has been most successful in Britain, where receivers have been plentiful with many stations available.

Swedish Radio has continued to maintain a low level of DAB broadcasts to Stockholm, Malmö, and Gothenburg. But any hopes that the new government elected in September might reverse the decision were dashed Saturday when the new Minister of Culture said DAB is not the radio of the future. She finds the necessity of listeners having to buy completely new receivers neither economically nor politically possible.

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth says radio will go digital, but says she doesn’t know in what manner. Two possibilities are digital radio signals included with digital television, and the new generation of DAB, called .