IRDR Trial - Jakarta

The Trial of International Radio for Disaster Relief (IRDR) during the Media Summit on Climate Change, ICTs and Disaster Risk Reduction 5-6 June 2014, Jakarta, Indonesia

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The Jakarta Summit Trial

The Trial is held on the occasion of the Media Summit on Climate Change, ICTs and Disaster Risk Reduction that is taking place from 4 to 5 June 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Twelve important international radio broadcasters are taking part in the Trial. The schedule of all transmissions is in the following table:



Monitoring Samples Jakarta (MP4 audio)


21840 kHz

ABC Radio Australia

Antenna HRS 4/4/0.5, 329deg

100 kW




15650 kHz


Nakhon Sawan, Thailand

LPH 150 deg.



21840 kHz

Radio Vatican



15650 kHz

SLBC Sri Lanka




15650 kHz

First Response Radio/FEBC





21840 kHz

MGLOB Madagascar

250 kW bearing 085 deg. antenna TM



15650 kHz


Site: UDO



15650 kHz


Palau - 270 deg.



15650 kHz


Site: PHT




15650 kHz

All India Radio

Bangalore 500 kW

4/4/0.5 at 120 deg



21840 kHz

RTC - China

Standard Chinese

site: BEI



15650 kHz



The shortwave Trial programmes that the participants of the Jakarta Media Summit will be able to tune in will be in fact the first practical test of the project that has been developed by the HFCC - international Radio Delivery association in cooperation with Arab States and Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Unions.

The project would not be possible without the system of the global online co-ordination of frequencies developed in accordance with International Radio Regulations. There are ten international shortwave bands. In spite of some transmission cuts many bands are still overloaded. The aim of the project has been to identify and select dedicated frequency channels completely free from interference.

Two frequency channels have been exclusively dedicated for the present Trial of the disaster relief project in the 0200-1130 UTC Trial period. In other words the channels are outside the regular programme and frequency schedules of all participating stations. Any station that volunteers in the disaster relief Trial can use them but naturally the time-slots have to be coordinated.

The use of shortwave transmissions as a delivery platform has some important advantages: For example the transmitter of All India Radio located at Bangalore that is also taking part in the Trial, and its transmitting antenna pointing in the South-East direction is capable of covering Malayan peninsula, Indonesia, Southern Phillipines, then down towards New Guinea and North-West part of Australia. This is the projected coverage diagramme of of AIR Transmision:

The antenna and transmitter facilities of other participants in the Trial are going to provide comparably large shortwave coverage areas. What is equally important, the transmitting facilities can be far removed by hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from the disaster zone suffering from the total communication and information blackout.

The Trial and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)

The digitisation of shorwave broadcasting should bring about other useful features to the International Radio for Disaster Relief project. A DRM presentation and demonstration is on the agenda of the Jakarta Summit on Day Two. In addition a special DRM radio programme is a part of the BBC/Babcock Trial time-slot from 0230 to 0530 UTC that will explain what is the inbuilt emergency functionality of DRM and how alarm warning signals can override regular programming and carry the emergency messages instantly to communities living in large world regions.

The future of IRDR

The International Radio for Disaster Relief project is capable of becoming a permanent part of global shortwave coordination that is already in existence. The system is automated: It checks on any changes or additions in the database every ten minutes. If any changes are detected, the processing starts automatically, the global database is updated and any possible incompatibilities or "collisions" identified. The overview of the occupancy of the channels reserved for disaster relief will be available to all participants world-wide immediately at any point in time. Volunteering organisations will be able to start the relief broadcasting immediately after the real disaster strikes, and coordinate the time- slots among themselves.

Due to the unique long-distance propagation property of shortwave radio by means of multiple reflections from layers in the upper earth's atmosphere a transmitter can reach easily to both relatively near or most distant world regions. This is important where other platforms such as satellite, FM or Internet are unavailable because of high cost, geographical location, lack of infrastructure or due to restrictions or disasters. Receivers are inexpensive and there are no access fees. Shortwave radio is important for travellers and isolated people and it reaches across the Digital Divide to the most disadvantaged and marginalised societies. This is in keeping with the Declaration and Action Plan of the World Summit on the Information Society.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has supported the basic aspect of disaster risk reduction to provide information to the most vulnerable in their 2013 World Disaster Report: The report has pointed out that this population segment may not have the money or the knowledge to take advantage of the digital revolution. It has noted that with only 6 percent of people in low-income countries using the internet in 2011 the digital divide is still stark, and access to low cost media technology is really the key. Joelle Tanguy, the IFRC's under secretary general for humanitarian values and diplomacy, told Thomson Reuters Foundation on the occasion of the publication of the 2013 World Disaster Report that the aid community is still only beginning to deploy technology effectively. "Our message is to take it on with a principled humanitarian view - understand its limitations, and make sure you are not forgetting the most vulnerable."

South and East Asia is the largest disaster-prone region of the world. That is why the management of the HFCC has decided to organise a trial of the IRDR project of co-ordinated shortwave broadcasting to disaster affected regions in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. The analysis of the Global Schedule database that is co-ordinated and continuously managed on line has indicated that transmission facilities from at least 16 transmitter sites could provide adequate coverage of the target region during the Trial.

The ABU organises a series of road-shows on Emergency Warning Broadcast System later in 2014 with the support of UN ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) and its Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction that is very near to the HFCC' s International Radio for Disaster Relief Project. The HFCC has registered with the Prevention Web - of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) that is also the focal point for the implementation of the Hyogo Framework with the aim of exploring the possibility of inclusion of elements of communication and information flow to the affected populations there.

There is work under way in the radiocommunication sector of the ITU on the new report on "Broadcasting for public warning, disaster mitigation and relief" However the current developments do not guarantee that terrestrial shortwave radio is permanently incorporated to the agendas of UN institutions. We believe that the common understanding of all stakeholders is needed for its firm integration into the framework of global Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction that also takes care of information and communication needs of vulnerable communities. This effort is reflected in the present Jakarta Trial of International Radio for Disaster Relief.

What's New

[26-Feb-2024] - A24 plenary minutes

[5-Feb-2024] - ITU-BR Circular Letter CR/501 containing closing dates for receipt of ITU HFBC A24 and B24 schedules, info on coordination meetings in 2024/2025, IRDR and the new eHFBC platform

[28-Dec-2023] - IMPORTANT: New requirement for foreign citizens entering Malaysia effective January 1, 2024

[11-Dec-2023] - A24 upload opened. Please review and confirm your contact details prior to uploading the initial version of your A24 data.

[13-Nov-2023] - A24 registration and hotel booking opened on the A24 Conference Webpage in the Member's Area

[13-Nov-2023] - eHFBC - new ITU online platform for HF broadcasting

[30-Oct-2023] - B23 GOE report

[20-Oct-2023] - B23 plenary minutes

[9-Oct-2023] - B23 operational data snapshot

[10-Aug-2023] - Follow up on the questionnaire on transmitter tubes and table by CPI

[8-Aug-2023] - B23 initial tentative data snapshot

[26-May-2023] - Encompass Digital Media Ltd are broadcasting Democratic Voice of Burma (DVOB) 1230-1300 UTC (daily) from Dhabayya utilising IRDR frequency 21840kHz transmitting from 29th May for approximately 1 month, providing special programming to Myanmar in response to the recent cyclone

[20-May-2023] - Sad news about Tom Lucey

[5-May-2023] - Summary of the questionnaire on transmitter tubes. The Questionnaire remains open for further responses

[5-May-2023] - Steps to apply for standard (non-ETA) visa added to the B23 webpage

[1-May-2023] - Encompass Digital Media Ltd are broadcasting Agricultural Voices Syria 0300-0330 UTC (weekdays) from Dhabayya utilising IRDR frequency 11840kHz transmitting from 24th April for 2 weeks of special programming educating farmers on how to grow and manage crops within the disaster zone

[9-Mar-2023] - Deadline for answering the Questionnaire on Transmitter Tubes has been extended

[1-Mar-2023] - A23 GOE report

[28-Feb-2023] - A23 plenary minutes

Archive of Earlier News Items

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