The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has finalised the re-farming frequency band (87.5 -108.5) exercise.To this end, all radio stations have been assigned new frequencies which are expected to take effect on 1st January 2024.
The exercise has maximised usage of frequencies in the communication and brought much-needed sanity to the sector. The exercise was undertaken to create space and reduce congestion.
In his reaction, MACRA Director General Daud Suleman, said: “After the successful completion of the excessive, MACRA is pleased to announce that it has identified plenty of remaining frequencies that it can distribute to new and prospective radio stations for a very long time.
“Perhaps what is more rewarding about this exercise is the fact that the space remaining for the distribution of new frequencies is big enough to withstand the current demand and indeed remain useful for many years to come,” he said
MACRA now expects all radio stations to make good use of the intervening period to sensitize listeners and make them aware of the new frequencies so that when the changes are effected they should be able to tune in to their preferred radio stations.
Over the past months, MACRA has been sensitizing the radio stations, the general public and stakeholders about the changes, most importantly, making them understand the advantages resulting from the changes.
The advantages of the re-farming frequency include maximizing space thereby reducing congestion.
It will also reduce interference of frequencies.
Licences have been broken down into three categories: national, regional and community. National broadcasters have been assigned two frequencies throughout the country. Regional stations will now be confined to their particular jurisdictions and not spill over into other districts as was the case before now.
MACRA attributed the success of the re-farming project to collaboration among stakeholders.
“This is why MACRA would like to extend gratitude to all radio stations who released their engineers to take part in the project. And of course the licensed radio stations for exercising patience while waiting for the exercise to be completed,” Suleman said. For all the listeners, the re-farming exercise guarantees frequencies that are easy to tune in to their favourite programmes or news on their favorite radio stations.