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Pakistan Breaks Ground on Massive DRM Project

The new 1,000 kW transmitter will reach from Eastern Europe to the Far East, as well as across South Asia

Pakistan’s Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb (center) speaks after the groundbreaking. (Screen capture from Radio Pakistan Facebook Live video.)

Pakistan’s national broadcaster broke ground July 30, 2023, on a new transmission facility that will extend its reach from the Mediterranean to the Pacific.

The modernization project marks a significant milestone for Radio Pakistan, including adding capabilities to broadcast in the Digital Radio Mondiale digital radio standard.

The project centers on a new 1,000 kW DRM transmitter being installed at the Radio Pakistan high-power transmission complex in Rawat, near the capital Islamabad. The new facility is expected to cost 4 billion rupees (nearly US$14 million) and is set to be completed in 2025.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb oversaw the groundbreaking, noting that the project will extend Radio Pakistan’s reach to 52 nations across South Asia, Central Asia, the Far East, Middle East, and into Eastern Europe.

“National broadcasting institutions are more than just structures as they hold a paramount position in represent­ing the country’s identity to the entire world,” Aurangzeb said, according to a report in The Nation. The new transmitter will facilitate the sharing of emergency information across the nation during natural disasters, as well as promote Pakistan’s narrative, news, heritage, and culture around the world, she said.

Aurangzeb noted that Radio Pakistan had relied on analog medium- and shortwave transmitters since its birth in 1947, but that 14 of its 20 current transmitters are now obsolete. The new 1,000 kW DRM transmitter will allow Radio Pakistan to transmit up to four different signals simultaneously, and it will do so more efficiently. The new transmitter is estimated to require 33% less energy than its predecessor, reducing operating costs.

In addition to the new transmitter, Aurangzeb said that a new media city will be set up in Rawat, furthering Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s vision for greater investment in IT and media technologies to increase employment opportunities and engagement of youths with radio.

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