1995: Awanui Radio ZLA returns

September 2015 Update:

The “new” Awanui Radio ZLA uses HF frequencies in the 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 and 22 MHz ranges for digital marine radio communications, as part of a network of 24 stations worldwide.

The four licences, which are currently valid until August 2016, are held by Globe Wireless (New Zealand) Ltd, although Globe Wireless (the US company) was acquired by Inmarsat in December 2013 and now uses that name.

From the company’s website:

Globe Wireless’ Maritime Digital Radio Network is comprised of 24 radio stations strategically located to provide world-wide coverage. Globe Wireless provides vessels at sea a truly global message and data delivery network. With a true always-on connection, messages are sent and received in near real-time, at much lower rates than using traditional satellite connections.

Globe Wireless also uses the Maritime Digital Radio Network to enhance our renowned satellite data transfer protocol. Using the advanced digital HF network, ships are immediately paged when large files or attachments are waiting ashore reducing the need to connect without knowing if there is traffic waiting.


From Worldwide Ute News – a newsletter dealing with utility stations, July 1996

Awanui Radio, call sign ZLA, is a new coastal radio station constructed by Globe Wireless in 1995. It is located on the north island of New Zealand, in the Southern Pacific Ocean. Operation of the station is controlled from Globe Wireless headquarters in California.

The transmitter installation is located at a historical radio site on Wireless Road, between Kaitaia and Awanui, in the North Island. Commissioned in 1913 “Radio Awanui was New Zealand’s main station for communications with ships,” according to information provided by the Far North Regional Museum in Kaitaia, New Zealand. A Telefunken quenched spark system was used for transmission.

The original station was dismantled in 1930 and the area has been used for farming since then.

The call sign used by the original station, ZLA, is once again in use.

Transmit site

The ZLA transmit site is located near Awanui, New Zealand. The Latitude is 30 degrees, 00 minutes South; the Longitude is 175 degrees, 00 mins West.

[More precisely, and according the their licence, the location is Latitude -35.0823362, Longitude 173.2418233. – Ed]

Eight Henry two kilowatt transmitters are in use for SITOR service on HF. The antennas are individual omni-directional vertical arrays for each marine band in use.

Receive site

The receivers for ZLA are also located near Awanui, New Zealand, about ten miles from the transmit site. The shared antenna is an omni-directional discone. The receivers in use are TCI 8074.