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Trends in Tropical Band Broadcasting 2021

In this issue we can present Anker Petersen’s annual report “Trends in tropical bands broadcasting 2021”. Very interesting reading, especially for me and all others who have spent most of the time there. In 1973, 1106 stations and today 2021 only 74 remaining! So for me shortwave is no more of any interest.

This week we learnt that BBC plans to shut down many AM frequencies in the coming weeks! Also on MW a lot of stations have disappeared and within a few years the band will sound very different.

We can already see the problems with the frequency lists where it is difficult to get exact information when the stations have switched to FM. So let us enjoy listening as long as we can, no matter if it is SW or MW. Keep on …. (Thomas Nilsson, ed.)

Trends in tropical bands broadcasting 2021
by Anker Petersen

Since the Danish Short Wave Club International published the first annual Tropical Bands Survey in 1973, I have registered which stations are active, based upon loggings from our members and other DX-ers around the world. Here is an updated status where Clandestine and Pirate stations are not included.

[table originally aligned in text but probably not as you see it — gh]

Active domestic transmitters on 2200 – 5800 kHz

Region                      1973 1985 1997 2009 2021
Central Africa              102    76   40   18    3
Southern Africa              57    39   33   20    5
Middle East                   9     4    1    0    0
Indian Subcontinent          62    45   45   29    5
South East Asia              40    29   21    4    1
Indonesia                   171   105   65   13    2
China, Taiwan, Mongolia     119   110   75   32   17
CIS (former USSR)            61    59   47    7    4
Far East                     38    28   28    9    6 
Papua New Guinea             17    20   20   15    2
Australia and other Pacific  10     4   13    8    6
Central America, Mexico      21    23   24    5    1
Caribbean                    29     3    3    2    3
Northwestern South America   98    41   19    3    1
Ecuador                      47    33   22    5    0
Peru                         78    69   78   28    7
Bolivia                      35    42   25   14    1
Brazil                      107    87   67   35   10
Southern South America        5     2    1    0    1
Total                      1106   819  627  247   74

During the past year the previous trend, that Tropical stations slowly disappear, continued throughout the world with a loss of about 10 stations. Several All India Radio stations have closed down. A year ago the Total was 84. The reason is, that other media get higher priority, than keeping elderly Shortwave transmitters alive.

Here are some of the stations on the Tropical Bands, which have closed down during year 2020:

kHz kW Station Country Last log
2850 50 KCBS, Pyongyang Korea, North APR20
3265 50 WBCQ, Monticello, Maine U.S.A. MAY20
3365 1 R Cultura, Araraquare, SP Brazil MAR20
4800 50 AIR, Hyderabad India OCT20
4810 50 AIR, Bhopal India OCT20
4910 50 AIR, Jaipur India OCT20
4920 50 AIR, Chennai India OCT20
5010 50 AIR, Thiruvananthapuram India OCT20
5045 0,1 Unique R, Gunnedah, NSW Australia APR20
5050 4,5 AIR, Aizawal India JAN20
5130 50 WBCQ, Monticello, Maine U.S.A. SEP20

(via SW Bulletin 18 April via WOR io group)

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