7 May, 2014 @ 13:44
1 min read

Radio frequency war leads to diplomatic incident


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.”

Giles Brown

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  1. So thanks to the tactics of Spectrum the local radio station Smooth in the Almanzora Valley has to close down . All you advertisers on Spectrum should now consider who you use to advertise your business as that station has for certain alienated a large expat population in the Valley by their actions .

  2. Spectrum do not care , they did exactly the same some years ago when they just took over 90.4 from Marbella and drowned out a local community station in the Fuengirola area , despite offers from spectrum to help get them back on air it never happened because that’s all they did , offer , and once the complaints had died down they just ignored it… leaving many local charities who benefited from the Fuengirola station out of pocket, Spectrum have some rich and powerful backers and don’t care what they do

  3. As someone closely linked to both stations, I can confirm that the information in this article is incorrect. Smooth FM are a pirate station. They have never had a broadcast license. Spectrum FM operate as a registered community broadcaster, approved by the Junta de Andalucia. There is no, nor never has been, any order to close down Spectrum FM. If that were the case, then this publication would surely be able to refer to the corresponding BOE which would have been published?
    The fact of the matter is that Spain and several African states are in disputes regarding co-channel interference. Many Spanish licensed stations have been requested to lower power whilst this issue is being negotiated. There are currently dozens of open cases in Almeria, Málaga and Cádiz provinces which the MITYC are working on.

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