According to the recommendation made by the Tenth Plan Working Group, short wave radio would be phased out in the country. To fill in the gap, FM service would be introduced in 125 more cities during the Tenth Plan, subject to the government’s approval of the Tenth Plan.
The medium wave service, which has been the most popular band till the time FM took off in India, would also be expanded, but only in the border areas.
According to AIR officials, the short wave stations would not be shut down right away. Short wave stations would continue to operate as long as their transmitters last, but no new short wave station would be introduced now.
According to industry sources, the life of a transmitter for short wave and medium wave radio is 15 years, while the FM transmitter lasts for around 10 years.
The Tenth Plan Working Group had earlier pointed out that short wave radio broadcasting services in analogue mode should be phased out. Expansion of medium wave should be taken up only for strategic border areas and difficult hilly terrains. Also, FM radio coverage should be achieved for 60 per cent of the population by the end of the Tenth Plan.