Why is Magic 828 on AM and not on FM?
ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) regulates and issues broadcasters with radio licenses in South Africa.
The FM spectrum in our country is congested due to the number of radio stations broadcasting on FM. ICASA has defined that The FM band has strict frequency spacing between FM stations, to avoid audio interference between radio stations broadcasting on adjacent frequencies, thus limiting the FM space further.
FM signals are broadcast and received “in line of sight” between the transmitter and the radio receiving the signal. Therefore, due to the topography of the landscape, specifically in the Western Cape, additional FM transmitters and frequencies are required for the FM stations to cover their respective broadcast area.
As the FM Band in The Western Cape is saturated with no additional frequencies available, Magic 828 broadcasts on AM.
AM offers many advantages over FM. Only one transmitter is required to broadcast over a large reception area and the AM signal is not restricted to “line of sight” transmission – in other words, the signal literally bounces over mountains and hills, over a greater distance.