lunedì 16 maggio 2011

Papua New Guinea Radio Review

Media Release
Radio Heritage Foundation
May 16 2011

Papua New Guinea
Broadcasting Review

We're currently reviewing the status of broadcasting in PNG as part of our ongoing updates for the World Radio TV Handbook [WRTH] and our PAL Radio Guides at

Radio Eastern Highlands 3395kHz at Goroka has been reported inactive on SW for some time. In fact, we had even removed it from the WRTH listing.

However, we understand it was most recently off SW for 9 months, returning briefly in January 2011 before another technical problem has taken it off air yet again.

An NBC engineer says 'Radio Eastern Highlands faced a lot of 'off-air' time a few years back because the IC kept getting cooked, and recently [January 2011] the entire mini-transformer box at the transmitter was blown to bits."

"Other TV and 3 radio stations piggyback on our tower and went off air for a whole month. We were lucky we have a standby generator for a bypass power supply."

"The SW transmitter magnetic contactor blew out, so no SW service, using only FM. We've also reduced transmission hours by one, terminating at 2100 hours [local] and this will remain so until the SW transmitter fault is rectified." 

The problems are linked to the power authority upgrading national power supplies, and huge voltage surges [up to 400v] are blowing out integrated circuits.

An engineer comments 'NBC engineers have to be very current with PPL's [power company] upgrade and automation so that our delicate digital equipment is not cooked up in their upgrade process."

As a general observation, MW/SW radio services of NBC may often operate irregularly outside Port Moresby because of technical and funding issues.

Simply put,they can come and go from the air as they break down, get fixed, then break down again and listeners need to constantly monitor all PNG shortwave outlets to have a current overview of their status.

NBC plans to replace MW/SW stations with FM only by 2015 but funding issues are now reported to be delaying implementation.

Commercial network FM100 by comparison, has a rapidly growing and technically secure FM network because it is owned by Telikom, the main infrastructure operator.

Its FM frequencies are generally claimed to have 200km coverage which indicates relatively high powered and well located [often on mountains] transmitter sites.

Mobile phone use is growing rapidly in PNG with operators Telikom and Digicel expanding nationwide coverage across the archipelago. Most radio listeners prefer the commercial FM services such as FM100, Nau and Yumi FM

The predominately young population prefers inbuilt FM receivers in mobile phones for listening so the demand for MW and SW services falls faster every year.

Religious broadcaster Wantok Radio Light have recently upgraded their satellite systems at each FM relay station, opened two new FM stations and are planning on some 10 more in 2011 alone to maintain contact with the rapidly growing FM radio audiences.

Blessed Peter ToRot Radio, a network of Catholic community radio stations has also reactivated Radio St.Gabriel on shortwave at Vanimo in recent weeks.

Vanimo is some 20km from the border with Indonesia and there is high tension in the area because of the Free West Papua movement, reports of police and military brutality, and a local economy still suffering from the effects of a devastating tsunami in the area in the recent past.

We are continuing to monitor broadcasting in PNG with the help of several sources within the country in an effort to improve the quality of information available for listeners, travellers and others using the WRTH listings and those of the PAL Radio Guides at

Observations, comments and news about PNG broadcasting issues are very welcome to