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NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) is a medium frequency service for delivering navigational and meteorological warnings in form of textual messages. It uses 490 kHz and 518 kHz frequencies. Messages can be received up to 400 nm off shore.

The messages consist of the following:

  • phasing signal (at least 10 seconds)
  • four-character long end of phasing code: ZCZC
  • space
  • four-character identification code (description below)
  • message content
  • end of transmition code: NNNN.

The first character of the identification code identifies sending station. There are 21 zones, and the station code is unique in each of them. Northern Europe belongs to region I, and the Arctic areas are covered by region XIX.

All Norwegian stations transmit on a 518 kHz frequency in English.

Station Code Transmission time (UTC)
Svalbard A 0000, 0400, 0800, 1200, 1600, 2000
Bodø B 0010, 0410, 0810, 1210, 1610, 2010
Vardø C 0020, 0420, 0820, 1220, 1620, 2020
Ørlandet N 0210, 0610, 1010, 1410, 1810, 2210
Rogaland L 0150, 0550, 0950, 1350, 1750, 2150
Tjøme M 0200, 0600, 1000, 1400, 1800, 2200







Navtex stations location map:


The second character of the identification code describes warning’s category:

A Navigational warning
B Weather warning
C Ice report
D SAR messages, and pirat warnings
E Weather forecast
F Pilot service messages
G AIS messages
H LORAN messages
I Not used
J Satelite navigation messages
K Other electronic navigational aid messages
L Navigational warnings – additional to A
T Test transmissions
V Notice to fishermen
W Not used
X Special services
Y Special services
Z No message

The last two characters contain message serial number.