During 2017, Norway will become the first country in the world to start shutting down its national FM radio network in favor of digital radio. Traditional FM radio receivers will not have any local stations to receive. I am not familiar with radio stations and reception in neighboring countries, so I am not sure what the people in Norway might be able to receive on traditional FM radio once their local stations all go digital.
I read an article on the topic a few days ago, and give some thought to the question. It quickly turned to a "who cares" type of issue. I scratched my head a bit, wondering why I should care. Norway is not a leader in technology, so how is this an earth shaking news story?
But in recent days it appears that technology in Norway has people thinking. I am actually surprised how many people have posted or commented about it. I have been asked, does it makes sense to eliminate FM radio in favor of digital broadcasts?
In search of the most innovative people in the field of technology I will start with the story of Reginald Fessenden, the Canadian born inventor who once worked for Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse and went on to develop radio and wireless communications.
When asked who invented radio, many names will get tossed out. Starting my career in communications, a name most often mentioned as the inventor of radio was Marconi. Another name often mentioned in the invention of radio is Nikola Tesla, who also once worked for Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. After doing quite a bit of research It was obvious that without a doubt, Reginald Fessenden did more to develop radio than either Marconi or Tesla.
Reginald Fessenden came to America in 1886, hoping to work for Thomas Edison. Fessenden started working for Edison as a junior technician, and eventually became his head chemist.
Ironically, after leaving Edison in 1890, Fessenden would cross paths with George Westinghouse, and helped Westinghouse in defeating Edison in the War of Currents. Westinghouse was impressed with Fessenden and personally recruited him for the newly created position of chair of the Electrical Engineering department at the Western University of Pennsylvania which would become the University of Pittsburgh.
Much of Fessenden's work in developing radio and wireless communications was done while he was chair of the electrical engineering department at Western University of Pennsylvania from 1893 to 1900. Fessenden began experimenting with wireless telephones in 1898, creating a wireless communication system functioning between Pittsburgh and Allegheny City.