In Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic & Social Council

Amateur Radio for Disaster Risk Reduction : Establishment of Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES)

Amateur license means an amateur license that authorizes the holder to operate an amateur or an amateur-satellite station, or an amateur station or amateur-satellite station located on board a land vehicle, a maritime vessel or an airborne vehicle.

There are lots of examples that the public communication network, even the Red Cross communication network has failed during the time of disaster especially during the time of cyclone disaster. Bangladesh is a country where 5% disaster of the world caused 85% of its damages, recently chances of earthquakes have increased and there are several small seismic turmoils in the city of Chittagong.

In India, this is the Amateur Radio Operator first established communication in Orissa after the super cyclone and in the city of Vuze – Guzrat after the earthquake, even in the developed country like in USA government takes the help of Amateur radio operator even to catch smugglers. Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a popular activity in this regard. BNNRC members of the coastal area developed a disaster radio network, which works as an alternative standby and emergency communication system to public and Red Crescent radio network. BNNRC also developed a rapid deployment team known as RACES in its working areas for any rapid deployment in any place for disaster communication.

In June 2000 the network has organized training with funding support from OXFAM-GB especially to create amateur radio operators in coastal areas, accordingly two NGO leaders succeeded to pass the examination and commissioned two amateur radio stations both respectively in Barisal and Chittagong. After formation of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) a stagnant situation was created and for last three years no amateur radio examination was held and no new license was issued. BNNRC continuously pursued the Chairman of BTRC and gave applications and hearing.

Then a committee has been formed to conduct the examination in which BNNRC Chief Executive Officer is also the member. Promoting Amateur Radio is fundamental to build alternative emergency communication system especially in remote areas and international friendship without interference from government.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) finalized provisions and conditions of Amateur Radio License under this National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP).

Major Role Activities
Awareness raising Raising awareness about strategic use of Amateur Radio in disaster risk reduction and emergency services

Promotional activities on RACES

  Promotion of Amateur Radio

Developing a rapid deployment team known as RACES for any rapid deployment in any place for disaster communication

Advocacy Organizing workshops on RACES

Use of Amateur Radio Network for the effective and successful implementation of disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation programs

Provide Knowledge inputs for Amateur Radio Policy

Develop an Amateur Radio Handbook / Call book for Bangladesh

Capacity building Providing technical support and training to facilitate Amateur Radio, its license and network service


In order to promote amateur radio operation in the country, BNNRC arranged three training courses for the enthusiasts. Most of the trainees have been successfully capable of using amateur radio and qualified in the examination. A total of 340 people of different level and professions actively took part in the courses.

The first training course was held at IUCN Conference Room on 03-08 June 2000. The second training course was held at CARITAS auditorium in Chittagong on 17-21 August 2002 and BNNRC arranged third training course on 12-15 January 2004 in cooperation with Foundation for Amateur Radio International Service (FAIRS) and COAST Trust.

As a consequence of the consistent advocacy of BNNRC, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has resumed conducting Amateur Radio Operator License Tests. The tests are conducted through Computer Based Testing (CBT) system.

Amateur Radio Resource Materials in Bangladesh: Bangladesh Amateur Radio Service Examination 2017

Instructions for Amateur Radio Usages and Procedures in Bangladesh

Training Schedule: Two Days Training Shedule

BTRC List of Participants: BTRC – List