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How radio system links PNG’s remote communities

by | Apr 19, 2024 | HF Radio, What MAF Technologies (formerly CRMF) Does

Work by MAF Technologies is helping to provide vital communication for emergencies and essential contact with isolated areas.

Local remote health worker communicating using a HF radio System in Papua New Guinea.

A reliable communication system is required for someone like Benjamin Harokaveh to perform his duties as an airstrip project manager for Papua New Guinea’s Transport Civil Works Division (TCWD), ensuring that basic services such as emergency assistance, community development, and business operations can reach remote communities via aviation with a single call. 

“MAF Technologies service enables me to expand service provisions to remote communities situated on the peripheries of Eastern Highlands Province through the utilisation of the HF radio communication system,” Benjamin said.

“This initiative significantly enhances accessibility to essential services such as healthcare, education, as well as legal and judicial services in these regions.”

Benjamin, who is based in Goroka, emphasised that the primary goal of the HF radio installations is to ensure that his agents are connected to him in those no-network areas for situational reports and daily weather reports to flight coordinators to maintain aviation service on each airstrip site in the province.

“Working in remote areas regularly has made me come to identify the urgency for communication. A proper communication system in a remote community is essential in ensuring people’s safety, productivity, and well-being,” he said.

Norambi community gathering to hear Ben and the MAF Tech technicians plans for the installations

Ken Komako is the local ward councillor for Norambi, a community surrounded by a vast jungle, with only an airstrip connecting it to the outside world. Walking to a nearby township would take three to four days, including climbing difficult mountains and crossing multiple rivers.

Ken said the Provincial TCWD and MAF Technologies’ efforts to establish the HF Radio system is greatly appreciated because it will have a significant impact on the lives of the Norambi community and other nearby communities as well. Before the HF radio installation, people had to walk across multiple mountain ranges to reach a cellular service location just to make a call.

 “We lost several people because there was no proper communication system in place to request for medical assistance. However, if we’re in such a situation right now, we will be able to reach out for a medevac all thanks to the HF radio system installed,” Ken said.

The delivery, installation, and operation of HF radio systems have been a substantial aspect of MAF Technologies’ work, given that a proper communication system is crucial for remote communities that do not have access to road services or proper health care facilities.

A model of the Envoy X1 High Frequency Codan radio system that was installed in Norambi Community.

Through MAF Technologies’ expertise, the team was able to accomplish its first two installations through the TCWD projects. One is at the TCWD provincial headquarters in Goroka, and the other is at the Norambi community airstrip. Norambi is one of the few airstrips in the province selected to have a reliable radio system in place.