There are two types of radio network currently in use around the world: the one-to-many (simplex communication) broadcast network commonly used for public information and mass-media entertainment, and the two-way radio (duplex communication) type used more commonly for public safety and public services such as police, fire, taxicabs, and delivery services. Cell phones are able to send and receive simultaneously by using two different frequencies at the same time. Many of the same components and much of the same basic technology applies to all three.
The two-way type of radio network shares many of the same technologies and components as the broadcast-type radio network but is generally set up with fixed broadcast points (transmitters) with co-located receivers and mobile receivers/transmitters or transceivers. In this way both the fixed and mobile radio units can communicate with each other over broad geographic regions ranging in size from small single cities to entire states/provinces or countries. There are many ways in which multiple fixed transmit/receive sites can be interconnected to achieve the range of coverage required by the jurisdiction or authority implementing the system: conventional wireless links in numerous frequency bands, fibre-optic links, or microwave links. In all of these cases the signals are typically backhauled to a central switch of some type where the radio message is processed and resent (repeated) to all transmitter sites where it is required to be heard.
In contemporary two-way radio systems a concept called trunking is commonly used to achieve better efficiency of radio spectrum use and provide very wide-ranging coverage with no switching of channels required by the mobile radio user as it roams throughout the system coverage. Trunking of two-way radio is identical to the concept used for cellular phone systems where each fixed and mobile radio is specifically identified to the system controller and its operation is switched by the controller.
The broadcast type of radio network is a network system which distributes programming to multiple stations simultaneously, or slightly delayed, for the purpose of extending total coverage beyond the limits of a single broadcast signal. The resulting expanded audience for radio programming or information essentially applies the benefits of mass-production to the broadcasting enterprise. A radio network has two sales departments, one to package and sell programs to radio stations, and one to sell the audience of those programs to advertisers.
Most radio networks also produce much of their programming. Originally, radio networks owned some or all of the stations that broadcast the network's radio format programming. Presently however, there are many networks that do not own any stations and only produce and/or distribute programming. Similarly station ownership does not always indicate network affiliation. A company might own stations in several different markets and purchase programming from a variety of networks.
Radio networks rose rapidly with the growth of regular broadcasting of radio to home listeners in the 1920s. This growth took various paths in different places. In Britain the BBC was developed with public funding, in the form of a broadcast receiver license, and a broadcasting monopoly in its early decades. In contrast, in the United States various competing commercial broadcasting networks arose funded by advertising revenue. In that instance, the same corporation that owned or operated the network often manufactured and marketed the listener’s radio.
Major technical challenges to be overcome when distributing programs over long distances are maintaining signal quality and managing the number of switching/relay points in the signal chain. Early on, programs were sent to remote stations (either owned or affiliated) by various methods, including leased telephone lines, pre-recorded gramophone records and audio tape. The world's first all-radio, non-wireline network was claimed to be the Rural Radio Network, a group of six upstate New York FM stations that began operation in June 1948. Terrestrial microwave relay, a technology later introduced to link stations, has been largely supplanted by coaxial cable, fiber, and satellite, which usually offer superior cost-benefit ratios.
Many early radio networks evolved into Television networks.
Almost all radio stations in New Zealand are part of a radio network, and most are network-owned.
The Media of Poland consist of several different types of communications media including television, radio, cinema, newspapers, magazines, and Internet. During the communist regime in Poland the Stalinist press doctrine dominated and controlled Polish media. The country instituted freedom of press since the fall of communism. The Polish media system's main features are the product of the country's socio-political and economic post-communist transition. These features include: the privatisation of the press sector; the transformation of the state radio and television into public broadcasting services; influx of foreign capital into the media market and European integration of audiovisual media policies. Today the media landscape is very plural but highly polarized along political and ideological divides.
Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is a digital radio standard for broadcasting digital audio radio services in many countries around the world but not in North America where HD Radio is the standard for digital radio.
BBC Radio is an operational business division and service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The service provides national radio stations covering the majority of musical genres, as well as local radio stations covering local news, affairs and interests. It also oversees online audio content.
Public broadcasting involves radio, television and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is public service. In many countries of the world, funding comes from governments, especially via annual fees charged on receivers. In the United States, public broadcasters may receive some funding from both federal and state sources, but generally most of their financial support comes from underwriting by foundations and businesses, along with audience contributions via pledge drives. The great majority operate as private not-for-profit corporations.
Digital radio is the use of digital technology to transmit or receive across the radio spectrum. Digital transmission by radio waves includes digital broadcasting, and especially digital audio radio services.
Radio New Zealand, commonly known as Radio NZ or simply RNZ, is a New Zealand public-service radio broadcaster and Crown entity that was established under the Radio New Zealand Act 1995. It operates a news and current-affairs network, RNZ National, and a classical-music and jazz network, RNZ Concert, with full government funding from NZ on Air. Since 2014, the organisation's focus has been to transform RNZ from a radio broadcaster to a multimedia outlet, increasing its production of digital content in audio, video, and written forms.
Licensed radio broadcasting in Ireland is one element of the wider Media of Ireland, with 85% of the population listening to a licensed service on any given day.
RTÉ Radio 1 is the principal radio channel of Irish public-service broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann and is the direct descendant of Dublin radio station 2RN, which began broadcasting on a regular basis on 1 January 1926. The station is a rare modern example of a mixed radio channel, offering a wide spectrum of programming which is mainly speech-based but also includes a fair amount of music.
Radio broadcasting began in New Zealand in 1922, and is now dominated by almost thirty radio networks and station groups. The Government has dominated broadcasting since 1925, but through privatisation and deregulation has allowed commercial talk and music stations to reach large audiences. New Zealand also has several radio stations serving Māori tribes, Pacific Island communities, ethnic minorities, evangelical Christians and special interests.
Kerrang! Radio is a specialist digital rock music radio station currently broadcasting to the United Kingdom on Freeview and various online platforms. It is owned and operated by Bauer Radio and forms part of Bauer's National portfolio of radio brands. The station was previously available on DAB radio, though latterly in London only, and was available on FM in the West Midlands from 2004 to 2013.
Polskie Radio Spółka Akcyjna is Poland's national public-service radio broadcasting organization owned by the government of Poland.
Hit 100.9 is part of the Southern Cross Austereo's Hit Network, based in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Digital Audio Broadcasting in Ireland is one form of digital radio transmission in the state. It was launched to the public on 30 November 2006, with trials taking place in 1998, 2001 and 2006. Currently, 56% of Ireland's population - mainly in Counties Cork, Limerick and the North East - can receive permanent DAB services. Geographic coverage on a portable or car radio is much less. In contrast, all the RTE stations on the DAB multiplex are also available nationwide via Saorsat and about 99% geographic coverage is possible via DVB. Generic DVB receivers generally need mains, but are typically cheaper than DAB radios. Many portable DAB radio sets have 1/10th to 1/50th of the running time of an AM/FM set, typically giving only 6 hours use. There are also in-dash DVB Terrestrial receivers for cars, though it's illegal for the driver to watch the TV channels. The Digital Radio services all suffer from the low 128 k maximum bit rate. Some channels are lower.
Bauer Radio is a UK-based radio division of the Bauer Media Group.
Radio Zet – Polish commercial radio station. The current owner of the station is Eurozet. The Radio started broadcasting on 28 September 1990, being the first commercial radio station in Warsaw and the second in Poland after RMF FM in Krakow.
Smooth Scotland is a Scottish independent local radio station owned and operated by Global as part of the Smooth network. The station replaced Saga 105.2 FM in 2007.
The radio technology known as Digital Audio Broadcasting, and its TV sibling, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), is being operated in several regions worldwide, either in the form of full services, or as feasibility studies.
RTÉ Radio is a division of the Irish national broadcasting organisation Raidió Teilifís Éireann. RTÉ Radio broadcasts four analogue channels and five digital channels nationwide.
MediaWorks Radio is the radio division of MediaWorks New Zealand. MediaWorks operates 9 radio brands nationwide across New Zealand with the majority of the programming on these stations based from Auckland, in addition to the nationwide brands MediaWorks also operate several local radio stations in certain markets.