Brazil disconnects the AM radio... What’s next?

May 31, 2023.

The AM radio is formally obsolete in Brazil

This 2023 means the end of AM radio broadcasts, after a long road since the first study about the technical viability of the process of migration from AM radio to FM broadcasts. This study was published by the National Telecommunications Agency in 2010.

In 2011, the Radio and Television Brazilian Association (ABERT) urged the government to make a stand on the shift from AM to FM and in 2012 the Communications Minister made public the government’s decision to carry out a study on the migration.

In 2020, more than 1700 AM radio stations applied to broadcast in FM of almost 1800 licensees in Brazil.

The AM radio is formally obsolete in Brazil
The AM radio is formally obsolete in Brazil

The FM band is extended to allocate the new radio stations

The current FM spectrum (87.7 to 107.9 MHz) allows up to 33 radio stations, an amount that will increase up to 60 stations thanks to the FM band extension.

So, the FM band will be extended by its lower margin adding an extended frequency margin from 76 to 87.4 MHz, which will be released at the cost of the reassignment of the television channels 5 and 6.

And, what about the measurement equipment?

FM signal analyzers

From a technical point of view, the installers and broadcasters using PROMAX equipment are all set: PROMAX analyzers can operate in the extended FM frequency range with no need of software updates.

PROMAX field meters, in addition to the basic level measurements and the decoding of the embedded data in the FM carrier, they feature measurements and tools for advanced analysis over FM radio available as an option and they are very useful for broadcasters and RF spectrum surveillance authorities.



AM stations switch off: The causes and consequences

Why did the AM radio needed to migrate to FM? The main motivation for the switch off is the AM radio was falling out of favor because of the bad quality of the broadcasts. Interferences affecting the Amplitude Modulation became a real problem in urban scenarios.

Estimations say that the disconnection of AM radio and its migration to FM will have a positive economic impact since the audiences will increase (FM can be tuned even from a phone) which will deal to an increase in the advertising revenue.


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