A FREQUENCY war between two rival Costa Blanca radio stations caused an unlikely international incident last week.
Smooth FM and Spectrum FM have been disputing the 90.8FM frequency around the town of Albox for several years.
But last week both stations suddenly went off air.
While local station Smooth FM has a small transmitter on their studio roof, Spectrum FM, which has studios along the coast and claims to be ‘Spain’s largest radio station’, uses a powerful transmitter on a hilltop.
The Spectrum FM signal often blocked out the smaller Smooth FM transmissions in the Almanzora valley.
Rather than the two rivals falling foul of the Spanish authorities, however, it seems that Spectrum FM’s powerful transmitter was not only blocking Smooth FM, but disrupting the Moroccan national radio station across the Mediterranean!
The Moroccan authorities made a formal complaint to the Andalucian government, who promptly took both stations off the air.
Smooth FM commented: “We had a visit from the ministry of telecommunications yesterday. They were very polite and explained the problem.
“90.8 FM is a national radio station in Morocco and they have been having serious problems with Spectrum broadcasting on 90.8 so much that they denounced them, which is why we stopped.
“The problem is that because we have always used 90.8 we have had to turn our transmitter off as well. They accepted that it was nothing to do with us as our signal only covered the Almanzora valley but the situation stands.”
Spectrum FM said in a statement: “Spectrum FM Mojacar will soon have further coverage as it increases the TSA of its 96.1 frequency.
“The new coverage will provide eight times the signal strength, leaving the old 90.8 frequency redundant. Very soon listeners will be able to enjoy complete coverage with just one, powerful frequency.”