Newspaper misrepresents ham radio numbers

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Newspaper misrepresents ham radio numbers

    The UBA reports the newspaper De Zondag claimed in an article that there were only 153 radio amateurs in Belgium

    A Google translation of the UBA post reads:

    Under the heading " Licenses radio amateurs in 5 years time drastically dropped " the newspaper "De Zondag" on January 27 very dramatically claimed that there were only 153 radio amateurs in Belgium!


    After some research, the source of these figures turned out to be the answer to a parliamentary question from Roel Deseyn (Federal Representative).

    Those who read the answer carefully know that 153 NEW LICENSES were issued last year and that in Belgium 4702 call signs have been assigned to individual persons. Presumably the "vanity calls" are included here, so there are slightly fewer radio amateurs. But in any case much more than 153.

    The day before yesterday there was a correction in the same weekly magazine that there were about 5000 radio amateurs in our country, but in one effort a new blooper was launched by stating that the number 153 refers to the number of radio stations (free channels).

    Apparently one does not succeed in correctly interpreting and displaying a text of a few pages, with accompanying tables.

    Over the past 5 years, 752 candidates took part in the basic permit exam, of which 532 passed (= 71%). In the same period 383 candidates appeared for the HAREC exam, of which 212 were successful (= 55%).

    For both exams, there are major differences from year to year, both in number of candidates and in success rates.

    For the basic permit, the number of candidates varies between 108 and 202 per year and the success rate varies between 66% and 78%.

    For the HAREC license, the differences are even more striking. Here the number of candidates varies between 49 and 100 per year and the success rate between 49% and 68%!

    There are also differences per language group. For the basic permit exam, 68% of the candidates were Dutch-speaking and 32% French-speaking, which is more or less a reflection of the language ratio in the UBA. However, for the HAREC exam, 78% of the candidates were Dutch-speaking and only 22% French-speaking.

    Interesting to know is also that emergency communication was addressed in the parlemanare question. Below the questions and answers :

    Will the cooperation with radio amateurs be strengthened for emergency communication?

    The new version of the Royal Decree (article 17/7) has been provided for in the cooperation between radio amateurs and emergency services.

    To what extent is the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) itself active on these links?

    BIPT may use the radio amateur bands in the performance of its assignments: it has the necessary powers and the necessary material for this purpose. Moreover, several members of his staff are also personal radio amateur.

    In which emergency situations were radio amateurs or BIPT employees involved? For which types of communication is this medium appropriate in such circumstances?

    During the Heizeldrama of May 29, 1985 and the shipwreck of the Herald of Free Enterprise on March 6, 1987, there was a call on radio amateurs for the communication of the emergency services for days.

    The radio amateurs may set up an alternative network to remedy or supplement the lack of traditional electronic communication tools. Apart from the fact that it can have a flexible size (ranging from a specific area to satellite connections) it is mainly a decentralized network for radio communication where the stations are autonomous (especially electrically), making it considerably resilient. The quality of the service as well as the confidentiality of the data will, however, be more difficult to guarantee.

    On his website Roel Deseyn also emphasizes the role radio amateurs can play in emergency situations.

    The tables showing exam results for Basic and HAREC exams from 2014-2018 are in the article on the UBA site

    N2NH, 4X1ST and WW5RM like this.
  2. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the clarification!
  3. WW5RM

    WW5RM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Das ist nicht gut!
    KA2CZU likes this.
  4. W1FVB

    W1FVB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ach als die vlaamse frieten maar goed smaken
    WW5RM and PD9Q like this.
  5. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Remember, journalists were C- writing and art students. And it shows, when they handle any facts.
    K3RLD and W6ERM like this.
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There may be a reason certain interests want to undermine the importance and popularity of ham radio. Follow the money.
    G3SEA, MW1CFN, N6JPG and 1 other person like this.
  7. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sheesh. I think I've probably seen 153 signals from Belgium on 40M and 20M FT8 on PSKreporter monitor.

    With that said, DX has been pretty good. PSK reporter shows that out of 8616 reports in the last several days, it included 86 countries.

    inkhear that many
  8. W6GMU

    W6GMU Ham Member QRZ Page

    vlaamse frieten zijn altijd heerlijk!!
    W1FVB and PD9Q like this.
  9. N9AMI

    N9AMI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Typical of all news reporting today. You can't believe any of it and you must verify it yourself.
    W8OTR, KE4ITL, K4FWJ and 3 others like this.
  10. N6JPG

    N6JPG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Would the under reporting of amateur radio licenses have anything to do with commercial communications corporations' (such as the ones that run newspapers and magazines as well) desire to buy up "under used" portions of the radio spectrum? And where was the "correction" posted, in small print on a back page?

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