1915: Papeete radio opens

Note that wireless operation from Tahiti had begun approximately three years before this announcement.

Radio Service Bulletin, Published by the Bureau of Navigation, US Dept of Commerce, January 1915


The radio station erected by the French Government at Haapape, or Mahina, near Venus Point, Island of Tahiti, was declared open to receive and transmit commercial messages on December 28, 1915.

Communication with the United States will be via Samoa, and Awanui, New Zealand, thence by cable to San Francisco.

The rates have not yet been established nor has the station been assigned call letters. All messages during the time of the war (sent or received) must be in French, or if in English should be accompanied by the translation. A strict censorship is exercised and code messages are not accepted.

It is not expected that the cost per word to the United States via the route indicated above will be over $1, and it is hoped that some arrangement may be made to transmit messages via Tutuila to Honolulu and thence to San Francisco. The all-wireless route just referred to would reduce the cost per word more than one-half and would ensure a saving of time.

The present installation of 10 kilowatt, with a wave length of 600 meters, can easily maintain communication with Tutuila. After the completion of the larger station of 300 kilowatts, with a wavelength of 2,500 meters, direct communication with Honolulu will be easily maintained, and even San Francisco, Sydney, and the French West Indies are expected to be reached.

The official designation of the new station has not yet been decided. It has been suggested that it should be known as the Haapape, or the Mahina, or the Point Venus Radio Station, but it is expected that the minister of war, in establishing the rates, will officially bestow the name of the Tahiti Radio Station.

The station is situated at a point some 10 miles from Papeete, and a telegraph line has been stretched between it and the post office at Papeete and the postmaster will be in charge of all messages after they have undergone the scrutiny of the censor. The completion and operation of a wireless plant has placed this colony in direct communication with the rest of the world and the business houses are now no longer dependent on the monthly mail service.