Web streaming: Live Internet radio at www.vom.gov.mv
Voice of Maldives is a National radio service and is operated by the Ministry of Information Arts and Culture under the Government of the Republic of Maldives.
Sound broadcasting started in India in 1962 with the proliferation of private radio clubs. The operations of Voice of Maldives began formally on 11th September 1966 as a government organization, with clear objectives to inform, educate and entertain the public.
The VOM today has a one main broadcasting centre and two re-broadcasting centers. The coverage is about 90% of the whole Maldives via MW (Medium Wave transmission) at 1449 KHz; the remaining 10% is covered using small FM transmitters via a radio uplink/downlink from satellites.
Voice of Maldives also have one FM broadcasting service, most of the FM transmissions are concentrated on entertainment and Music. The transmitting frequency is 89 MHz. The coverage area is about 30kilometeres from the capital Male’.
At present we have facilities to broadcast non stop for 24 hours, everyday and are proud that most of our programmes are broadcasted in our own language and are happy that the only radio station is a fully Maldivian radio station serving for over fourty two years.
1. History of the Voice of Maldives
Broadcasting in the Republic of Maldives began in the name of MALE’ RADIO on December 29th 1962. With a normal radio communication set and without any specialized knowledge of broadcasting. During that time, the broadcasting equipments were locally made by hobbyists. The programmes were only aired for about five to ten minutes with two minutes of news and current affairs.
Within a short period of only one year, the radio service was taken over by a company named CINEMA Company and the broadcasting service renamed to SENECO RADIO with newly built local SW transmitters.
The broadcasting became a fully government operated service in 11September 1966, and again in 19 february1967, its name was changed to Maldives Island Broadcasting service (MIBS). As the broadcasting gained more popularity and the government decided to run the broadcasting in a purposely built building in 26 June 1968.With the advent of new technologies and due to the importance of this indispensable service, the government decided to re-structure the service and later renamed to Radio Maldives in 16 February 1969. From 1970 onwards, As the Maldives is a 100 percent Muslim country; Radio Maldives thought the radio could play a major role in religious teachings, as a result, The radio Maldives started a daily broadcasting of the Dhivehi translation of holy Quran every morning. This is one of the few programmes that are still daily broadcasted. Among the most popular programmes during those days is called Radio Haveeru, a programme specially dedicated to self improvement and public awareness.
Late seventies played an important role in the history of Voice of Maldives Maldives, it became even more popular among the public, and thus it has to increase its current air time to allow 09hrs and 15 minutes daily for local programmes which concentrated on music. 21/2 hours daily dedicated to International News and music.
2. Voice of Maldives today
The name of the radio Maldives was renamed as today’s Voice of Maldives by his Excellency President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom on 19th January 1980. Which began a new era of broadcasting? On 29th December 1981, the government secured a grant aid from the Australian Government which provided a 5 kilowatt medium wave transmitter. With the ever increasing demand for radio, there was an immediate need for a building expansion to cater for recording and production studios which gave way to a foundation for a totally new building. This is the present Voice of Maldives building at Maafannu. Now the Voice of Maldives is using a 10KW digital medium wave transmitter from Harris operating at 1449 KHz for its AM transmission.
3. Atoll media production centers
With a view to involve the island communities in the radio production, the Voice of Maldives together with a grant aid from UNICEF started building regional media production centers. The purpose of this effort was to create jobs in the island communities in the radio production sector. These production centers make programmes based on their local life styles, livelihood and other social issues. As the radio signals are weak to the southern and northern most atolls, in a move to solve this problem, we have now installed two low powered 500W FM transmitters to re-broadcast the AM transmission via a satellite uplink/downlink to the Addu Atoll and fuahmulah region. Work is under way to do the same to the northern part as well.
4. FM transmission
21 May 1985, Voice of Maldives started its FM broadcasting services, just about the same time Maldives also became famous as a tourist destination. The radio felt the importance of tourism to the economic development of the Maldives and began to play a major role in entertaining and providing useful information for foreigners. The voice of Maldives expanded its English services which included current affairs and music. This service covers only the capital Male’, and nearby islands using a very low power mono FM transmitter on 104Mhz band from a grant aid from UNESCO. Later with the addition of a power booster allowed a 100W increase to cover a little more area.
Currently we are using OMB, Spanish made stereo FM transmitters to broadcast Male’ and nearby islands. We have the capacity to use two FM transmitters broadcasting with different frequencies. A dedicated FM channel 91 MHz opened on 14 December 2000 to specially broadcast Religious programmes while 89 MHz is dedicated for music.
91 MHz- Started broadcasting religious programmes since 15 August 1999.
89 MHz-Started Broadcasting current affairs and music programmes since 14 December 2000.
5. Audio streaming or web casting service
In a move towards modernization, we have started web casting services inaugurated by his Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the president of Maldives on 04 November 2002. All you need is to log into www.vom.gov.mv to listen to AM services of the Voice of Maldives any time any where 24hrs any day all day provide that you have internet access. This is popular service among Maldivian citizens residing abroad and for students pursuing higher education abroad. We are currently studying ways to increase the existing internet bandwidth to this service as a move to cater for the huge demand.
Colored portions are re-broadcasting centers. These Centers receive the AM transmission from Male’ via a Satellite downlink to re-broadcast using the 500W Fm Transmitters to the region.