Wireless Progress in Australia
previous page index next page

Network of Australian Controlled Stations in the Pacific Islands.


Amalgamated Wireless (A/asia.) Ltd. have established three large centres in the South-Western Pacific - at Fiji, New Guinea and Papua.

The installation of modern wireless equipment at Suva Radio, designed by A.W.A. engineers and manufactured at the Company's Radio-Electric Works at Sydney, has established Fiji as an important link in the world's wireless system, and a part of the Empire wireless chain.

The A.W.A. radio station at Suva, Fiji, handles overseas traffic to Great Britain and the Continent via the Australian Beam Service, and is also in communication with important Island centres such as Samoa, Friendly Islands, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, New Caledonia, New Hebrides and Honolulu. Suva Radio also maintains communication with the three other A.W.A. controlled stations in Fiji-Labasa, Savu Savu and Taviuni.

The daily broadcasting of weather reports from Suva has proved of great value to shipping and to the Islands in range of Suva Station, especially during the hurricane season.

The second centre is in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, where the Company's chief station is located at Bita Paka, near Rabaul, on the island of New Britain. This modernly-equipped station not only maintains direct radio communication with A.W.A. Radio Centre, Sydney, but also is in constant communication with the following A.W.A. owned stations; Aitape and Madang, New Guinea; Manus, Admiralty Islands; Kavieng, New Ireland; Kieta, Bougainville Island; Marienberg Radio on the New Guinea Oilfields, and Bulolo and Salamoa on the New Guinea Goldfields. The Rabaul Station also communicates with the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the Solomori Islands, and the Santa Cruz Islands.

The third important centre is at Port Moresby, in Papua. This Station is in communication with Samarai, in Papua, and also with Thursday Island, and the Australian Stations at Cooktown and Townsville. In addition, there is a private station at Popo, on the Anglo-Persian Oilfields;

The development of these Australian-owned stations in the Pacific, is largely due to Mr. E. T. Fisk, Managing Director of A.W.A., who, in 1922, interviewed the Rt. Hon. L. S. Amery, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and suggested that A.W.A. should take over from the Imperial Government all the British wireless stations in the Pacific, with the object of modernising them and connecting them direct with the Australian wireless network.

As a result of negotiations an Agreement was completed between the Imperial Government and A.W.A., and on January 1st, 1928, the Company took over the wireless stations in the Fijian group.

The development of this network of commercial wireless stations in time of peace gives assurance that they will be up to date and available for defence purposes in time of war; and that a trained personnel and equipment will be available on short notice for the extension of the services, or for the replacement of existing equipment that might be damaged or destroyed.

back to top