One Response to “Why the Shortwave Revive Is a Non-Starter”


Offers facts that could “very well modify or even change the conclusion reached by the commentators”

Posted: April 6, 2022

Radio World’s “Guest Comments” section provides a platform for industry thought leaders and other readers to share their views on radio news, technology trends and more. If you would like to comment or respond to an article already published, send a submission to [email protected].

Below is Matthias Hettwer’s point of view in response to the article “Why Reviving Shortwave is a Non-Starter”.


I just read the guest comment “Why Reviving Shortwave is a Non-Starter” on your website. Although some of the facts stated seem to be true, I believe that some other facts have not been mentioned by the guest commentators, and these other facts could very well modify or even change the conclusion reached by the commentators.

Commentators are right to say that the Internet with its social media has become very important and influential all over the world. Radio no longer has a monopoly on information and is therefore less important. They are also right to say that existing radios and services want to emphasize their relevance and ensure future budgeting. And shortwave radio enthusiasts naturally promote their activities.

But here’s something they didn’t mention at all: Extremely capable but relatively inexpensive shortwave receivers have recently entered the market, ironically made by branded Chinese manufacturers such as Tecsun, and also ironically receivers Russian-designed SDRs made in China known as the Malahit Receiver and unnamed Malahit clones online such as on eBay. All of these are available in the $150-200 price range and most operate at the level of shortwave radios formerly $300-400. Not to mention the American brands (made in China) Eton and C. Crane. And there are compact SDR-based shortwave radios in the $80-$120 range by xdata and others. Sometimes they are sold out and you have to wait for new deliveries. My point: Shortwave radios are available and purchased, and it is fair to conclude that they are being used.

Live broadcast audience figures have always been difficult to establish. This is the nature of totally secure one-way communication, without cookies or spyware, and without hacking or device hijacking. Of course, the percentage of shortwave radio usage has declined due to other options. But let’s not assume that no one is listening.

And let’s not assume that no one would try to use one of the small but high quality shortwave radios mentioned above when provided while facing censorship or an internet outage. . Instead, let’s roll out shortwave radio distribution campaigns to the areas that need it most. Let’s turn on the remaining shortwave broadcast transmitters and broadcast the news to areas that would benefit. Commentators failed to mention that, of all countries, China is doing just that right now by employing a very large number of shortwave transmitters with high signal strength (100-500 kW transmitters) and capable of be heard clearly 5,000 to 10,000 miles away.


Matthias Hettwer

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