Bangladesh Betar is Bangladesh’s state-owned radio public broadcaster. It is the only radio station with a national reach – in a country of over 158 million

Launched in 1939, the broadcaster has played a significant role in the development of Bangladesh as an independent nation, a history reflected in its numerous name changes throughout the 20th century.

Bangladesh-BetarOriginally established as a regional entity of All India Radio, it was renamed Radio Pakistan Dhaka after the partition of India in 1947, before becoming the ‘Independent Bengal Radio Station’ in support of the country’s struggle for independence during The Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

Upon independence the station moved away from its wartime role as a self-described pro-independence “propaganda machine” to become Bangladesh Betar. In its present form the broadcaster’s mission is to support nation-building efforts and the development of a “knowledge-based information society” by disseminating informative, educational and entertainment content while upholding the country’s cultural heritage.

Motivational children's programme. Image: Bangladesh Betar
Motivational children’s programme. Image: Bangladesh Betar

Based in the capital Dhaka, Bangladesh Betar consists of one national and 12 regional radio stations which broadcast across FM and AM frequencies, although the government aims to move to digital radio by 2021.

Bangladesh Betar also has a short-wave foreign service, aimed at its large diaspora. This service broadcasts in Bangla, English, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic and Nepali across Europe, Asia and the Middle East

Its regional stations also cater for local dialects, such as those found in the Chittagong Hills. Other services include Dhaka’s Traffic Channel and FM 100, which broadcasts up to 12 hours of BBC World Service and BBC Bangla content daily.

Bangladesh Betar is a long-term member of the Public Media Alliance and a full member of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.


19/01/2016, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union: Bangladesh Betar will become the first HD digital broadcaster in Bangladesh with the introduction of the US digital radio standard in January 2016.

The high quality broadcasts will initially cover Dhaka and its surrounding region, covering 18million listeners.


Year established: 1939

Digital standard: Digital transition by 2021

Web address:

Full member: True

Main funding source: State-owned