Radio Nepal was established in April 1951. Currently, it airs national channel programs in SW, MW and FM bands with a total capacity of 533 KW. Its first FM channel, FM Kathmandu, was launched in 1995 utilizing a 1kW stereo transmitter installed in Khumaltar, Lalitpur. The Kathmandu FM 100 is run 24 hours a day with musical programmes.
Today, its radio programmes reach the Nepalese population via shortwave, on medium wave (85 percent of the population), and on FM frequencies (50 percent). There are five regional broadcast centers and 18 FM stations in different parts of the country. The national channel is broadcast 18 hours daily including two hours of regional broadcast.
Informational and educational programmes constitute 60 percent of its total programming while entertainment programmes, including commercials, makes up the remaining 40 percent. Radio Nepal broadcasts news bulletins in Nepali, English and 18 other languages. The station has stringer reporters in more than 60 out of 75 districts.
It has started digitalizing its studio for news operations and programme production. The JICA project was completed in 2007/2008 for the purpose of strengthening its MW transmission network. Currently, the Japanese government is assisting Radio Nepal in the capacity building of its Programme and News production staff so as to prepare RNE for transforming into a public service broadcaster (PSB).
Its Singha Durbar studio houses a music library collection of about 40,000 songs. The audio library is undergoing physical restoration and digitization with the consultancy of Deutsche Welle. Radio Nepal organizes training courses in co-operation with Deutsche Welle, the AIBD, the ABU and the BBC, and receives support and assistance from JICA, and UNICEF, amongst others.
Radio Nepal commenced programme distribution through V-SAT in August 1999 via its main hub station in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu. Future developments include coverage expansion by establishing new FM fill in stations around the nation. The incumbent radio broadcaster, run as a state radio, has around 600 employees.