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Shortwave radio technology is undisputedly regarded as the most trusted and the most widely used communication channel of the past century. Since its development in the 1920s, shortwave radio technology has been regarded as the earliest form of internet.

This shortwave radio technology is based on high-frequency radio waves that are energy-rich and capable of traveling long distances. 

Since the 19th-century shortwave radio tech is used as the sole source of all global communication before the advent of modern technology.

This shortwave radio technology was widely used for inter-regional communication, connecting with friends, and information sharing over global platforms. 

Shortwave radio stations were the hubs of this information distribution and sharing. These radio stations were much like the online platforms these days that host multiple forums and let the members share their views about certain topics.

Shortwave radio listening was once at the epitome of its use and like every traditional tech, this shortwave technology has also seen its doom. 

With the rapid development of modern technology sharks, these dinosaurs of the past technological era have gone endangered but are not extinct, although close to extinction.

There is no doubt that shortwave radio technology has seen a rapid decline in followers and supporters and is, therefore, ultimately left alone with annihilation as the final step.

But thanks to some very dedicated fans who enjoy shortwave radio listening (termed as SWLing), the shortwave radio stations are still in use, though rare in numbers. 

Shortwave radio stations broadcast their sessions once in a while at the set time that has been announced way before the online session.

These radio stations have a specific frequency of radio waves that lie within the range of 1700 kHz. to 5 MHz these shortwave radio stations air their online broadcast within these frequencies at the said time. 

Although not in common use like the FM or AM radio stations, the shortwave radio stations are having their appeal and are a great aid to help you broaden your horizons.

Shortwave radio listening by far is the most popular among the audio listening technologies and is widely demanded picking up global streams that are far and wide from the source of origin. 

You must be curious to know if shortwave radio technology is so popular and why it is facing a decline. The answer lies in its ease of use and the availability of the right equipment for using it.

Shortwave radio stations are not as abundant as the AM or FM radio stations and so is the case with the convenience of playing these radio stations. One can very simply tune in to the FM radio channel but the same can’t be said for the shortwave radio stations. 

Tuning into the shortwave radio stations is a bit confusing and one would find it difficult to get the right gadget for listening to the SW radio stations.

Finding the right product for playing the SW radio is not the only barrier to playing the SW radio stations because you also need to bear in mind the appropriate location for finding the signal and don’t forget to tune in at the right time. 

Shortwave radio stations unlike the FM or AM channels are not operating 24/7 and have set schedules for broadcasting the radio session.

Therefore, it is mandatory for you to know about the schedule and the right frequency of the SW radio stations and then act appropriately to enjoy the one-in-a-kind audio technology.

Now that you are quite familiar with the basic requirements of tuning in to the SW radio stations, you must be breaking the web to find some great shortwave radio stations.

Don’t bother with the overwhelming information available on the web and rather read our article all through the very end. You can find all the relevant information for playing your SW radio as well as some good quality SW radio stations to begin with. 

So, let’s jump straight to the SW radio stations and begin the journey into shortwave radio tech.

Types Of SW Radio Stations:

Just like FM or AM radio channels, SW radio stations are also categorized. You must be familiar with the categories of FM radio channels like the news, sports, infotainment, music, entertainment, weather, traffic and navigation, and the rest.

Although shortwave radio stations have similar categorizations, the categories themselves differ widely in the types of content being aired. 

The most typical SW radio stations are divided into the following types:

  1. Utility stations
  2. Oceanic air traffic
  3. Amateur radio

The two broad categories of SW radio stations similar to FM or AM channels are the 

  1. International radio broadcasts
  2. Local/ Domestic radio broadcasts

Let us now see the differences among these categories and the type of content that is being aired on these channels cum radio broadcasting networks.

  • International Radio Broadcasts:

International or global broadcasts are the most prominent survivor of the catastrophe of modern technology. International SW broadcasts are still enjoyed as there were in the past decade.

SW global sessions are enjoyed all over the globe and people across the world still listen to them at the specific schedules. These SW radio sessions are mostly lined to the international news or some govt-sponsored propaganda. 

  • Local/Domestic Radio Broadcasts:

Domestic SW radio channels are also tuned in far and wide and are much more relevant to the modern FM networks than the global ones. These local SW radio stations are particularly, political or religious and infotainment channels are rare in local networks. 

Now coming toward the general types of the SW radio stations we will look deep into the common SW radio broadcast that airs various kinds of media

  • Utility Stations:

Utility stations are the top-secret communication channels that are not assessed by the general public and are used by a specific body for a specific audience. The most common utility SW radio stations are in use by the marine bodies, merchant channels, and maritime information sharing.

These SW radio channels have only specific information that is of no use to the general public not related to that particular field. 

For example consider a marine SW channel that keeps on playing the water currents, wind speed, nautical area, upcoming storms, humidity levels, information about the periodic tides, any unusual activities underwater, and the related facts.

This type of information is helpful for the fisherman and oceanic route users but will not be interesting for the students looking for some music on their way to universities and schools.  

  • Oceanic Air Traffic:

The second type of SW radio station is the oceanic air traffic that is specified for the air flights over the big five oceans of the world. All types of information about the air traffic over the oceans are communicated using these SW radio channels.

You can’t directly tune in to these channels as these are also restricted to specific bodies and are not accessible by the general masses.

For example, flight attendants and cabin crew can tune in to an oceanic air traffic SW radio channel and will be updated about the upcoming windstorm over the oceanic route that passes through the travel route of their flight. 

  • Amateur Radio

Amateur radio channels are specific frequency bands that operate within bands of 15, 17, 20, 30, 40, 60, and 80. These SW radio channels need a license to tune in to and are therefore restricted for the certain type of audience that caters to a license for the use. Each band has a different audience to cater ad will need a different license. 

Other than these channels there are a few other SW radio stations that are aimed at the general public like the global SW radio sessions where listener share their opinion about the topic of concern.

These channels may be political discussing the current affairs, world politics, finances, economy, and the rest. Or they may be religious diving into the diving reality of the world and playing the anecdotes of the specific religion for which the channel is designed. 

Final Words:

SW radio listening was once the only popular audio technology and is used to date for information seeking and enjoying the goodness of SWLing. SW radio stations have distinct frequencies that air their broadcast at the specified time within the distinct frequency band. These high-frequency radio waves travel long distances and reach the ears of their listeners. 

There are multiple types of SW radio channels and each type has a certain target audience that may need a license to tune in to that type of SW radio station. Among the common shortwave radio stations are the utility channels, oceanic air traffic stations, and amateur radio that is developed for professionals in various fields.

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About the author

Zeeshan Farhad

Zeeshan Farhad is the Founder of He is well known for his experience in Digital Marketing! He loves to write about trending topics and review different products on daily basis. Read More

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