Amateur Radio operators come from all the walks of life – entertainers, missionaries, doctors, lawyers, ministers, politicians, and just plain students, workers and retired folks. They are of all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. Whether they prefer Morse code on an old brass telegraph key through a low-power transmitter, voice communication on a hand-held radio, or computer messages transmitted through satellites, they all have an interest in what’s happening in the world, and they use radio to reach out to communicate with other fellow radio amateurs. Any one can be a HAM Radio operator, no matter what age, gender or physical ability one has. Millions of HAMs around the world are operating on the air. There is no limit! Late King Hussein of Jordan is a HAM, known simply as “JY” to all his on-the-air friends. Former late prime minister of India Mr. Rajib Gandhi known as “VU2RG” was very active in HAM Band. But a license is a must for any HAM to go “On Air”. One can get that license by passing the Amateur Radio Examination.
How will you become a HAM in Bangladesh
In our country the licensing authority for Radio Communication is Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). They conduct the test for HAM licensing. To become a HAM in Bangladesh you have to pass the exam named “Amateur Radio Service” conducted by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. They conduct this exam in every January and June; i.e. twice a year. After passing the exam you will get the call sign with license which means you get the permission to use a radio transceiver. You will need to pay TK 100 each year to BTRC for the license renewal.
A Brief History of Amateur Radio in Bangladesh –BARL (Bangladesh Amateur Radio League)
To promote amateur radio in Bangladesh BARL was formed as a society on May 20, 1979. From the very beginning, the founders of the society maintained close liaison with various Government and International bodies to fulfill their goal. Though amateur radio was not unknown here, the activities were banned during the war between India and Pakistan in 1965. At that time Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan, known as East Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the ban was still in effect and no amateur radio activity was permitted.
BARL initiated a steady and persistent approach to enlighten and inform all the concerned the usefulness of amateur radio, particularly in the Government. In 1982 BARL was elected as the 115th member society of the International Amateur Radio Union – IARU. In April 1983, BARL was also elected as the 18th member of the Region 3 Association. In spite of all sincere efforts, there was no further development on amateur radio operation in Bangladesh. However, things began to change when a new democratically elected Government came to power in early 1991. At almost the same time the country suffered another natural calamity when over 125,000 people were washed away in a devastating cyclone and tidal wave. The normal telecommunication links were cut off for several days. BARL immediately approached the authorities for withdrawing the ban and let BARL members to set up emergency communication infrastructures. This time, under practical conditions, the proposal got due consideration and was accepted by the Ministry of Telecommunications. It was sent to other relevant ministries.
Nevertheless, this incident created a positive outlook towards the amateur radio in bureaucratic circles. This eventually resulted in the formal approval of the amateur radio service in Bangladesh. At last the Government approved Amateur Radio Service in our country on 29th August, 1991.Thus, a patient 12 year effort by the founders of BARL succeeded in establishing amateur radio in Bangladesh.
To promote this hobby. You can find amateurs from Bangladesh DX-Ing almost everyday on Amateur bands, most frequently on 14320 MHz (20 m) and 7060 MHz (40 m) in SSB mode. They participate a Banglanet in the morning. They use a repeater for local communication on 2M band. Website is www.barl.org you are always welcome to visit.