Anniversaries coming up: the Lakihegy Radio Tower is 90 years old, while the Transmitter Solt was inaugurated almost half a century ago.
1 December is Hungarian Radio Day, when regular broadcasts began in 1923, and experimental broadcasts began in Hungary a hundred years ago. Hungary’s tallest structure, the Lakihegy Radio Tower, which rivals the Eiffel Tower in Paris in its dimensions, began terrestrial broadcasting 90 years ago. Although the Lakihegy Radio Tower still serves other purposes today, the Transmitter Solt with its state-of-the-art equipment is the defining feature of radio broadcasting in Hungary.
The experiments with radio broadcasting in Hungary were started a hundred years ago by the ‘forerunner’ of Antenna Hungária Zrt., the Royal Hungarian Post Office. Regular radio broadcasting began on 1 December 1925, which is commemorated on Hungarian Radio Day. In the beginning, the studio in Rákóczi Street and the radio station in Csepel provided national broadcasting.
90 years ago, the Lakihegy Radio Tower, which is still in use today, took over terrestrial radio broadcasting. With its 314 metres, it has been the tallest structure in Hungary for 90 years. It rivals the Eiffel Tower in Paris at 324 metres and was declared an industrial monument in 1985. Today, instead of broadcasting, the Lakihegy Radio Tower transmits other electrical control signals. In 2006, the radio tower was given a special task: the ripple control system used in Germany was extended to Hungary and now operates on the long wave band. The ripple control system transmits electrical switching signals; when there is no switching signal, time-synchronised signals are transmitted every 10 seconds. It is used by electricity companies, and other businesses for specific control tasks.
Today, Transmitter Solt is the centre of radio broadcasting in Hungary. The 304-metre-high tower was inaugurated on 16 February 1977, and since then it has been broadcasting on medium wave to the whole country and the more distant parts of Europe. The new transmitter in Solt, in operation since 2017, is considered one of the most modern in the world.
The most important anniversaries of Hungarian radio broadcasting:
- Experiments with radio broadcasting began in Hungary on 16 December 1923, at first from the experimental postal station in Gyáli Street.
- Regular radio broadcasting in Hungary began on 1 December 1925, which is celebrated on Hungarian Radio Day.
- On 2 December 1933, the 120-kilowatt transmitter in Lakihegy was inaugurated, and its 314-metre antenna remained the tallest structure in Hungary for 90 years.
- The Transmitter Solt was inaugurated on 16 February 1977 and since then has been broadcasting on medium wave to the whole of Hungary and, depending on weather and terrain conditions, to more distant parts of Europe. The antenna tower is 304 metres high.
- On 1 December 2017, the new medium-wave transmitter in Solt was inaugurated, taking over the broadcasting of Kossuth Radio from the (Soviet) transmitter that had been in operation for 40 years.