Updated on April 5, 2024


Created on August 24, 2016

Rootio Radio Station

Rootio is an open-source radio broadcasting solution that is a combination of off-the-shelf hardware, cloud software, and a smartphone app.

Developed By
  1. RootIO
Tested By
  • Resilient Africa Network
Content Partners


Product Description

Rootio or Grassroots Radio for Community Input and Output is a prototype and open-source radio broadcasting solution that is a combination of off-the-shelf hardware, cloud software, and a smartphone app. Rootio can be heard through a traditional FM receiver. It is possible to participate in the radio through a simple phone call.

Target SDGs

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)


Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Rootio is the main distributor and is supported by a peer network of radio station hosts. Rootio is located in Portugal.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include CGNet Swara and Pocket FM.

Manufacturing/Building Method

This product needs a Low Power FM Transmitter Antenna to work. Customers can make the antenna by themself following this guideline

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can obtain the product from Rootio GitHub site. The App is only available for Pocket Galaxy and Duos Samsung Smartphones and can be found on Google Play Store. Antenna guidance instructions are also available.

Distributions to Date Status

As of June 2017, four bucket stations have been running in Northern Uganda. Rootio hopes to launch 12-20 established antenna broadcasting stations in the coming future. Rootio is developing the capacity to quantify the number of listeners on their network.

Design Specifications

The Rootio Radio Solution comprises the transmitter antenna + station called "radio in a bucket", the cloud solution to push Internet content to radio+antenna transmitter and app for content management and technical admin of infrastructure. While the "bucket Rootio Station" includes an FM transmitter, there are no particular specifications. This means that the implementing team can use any FM transmitter that fits in the bucket. The android App is designed and tested only with a Duos or Pocket Galaxy Samsung smartphones, so is suggested to build the "bucket Rootio Station" with these Samsung smartphones. While guidance on antenna assemble procedures is available, guidance on "radio in a bucket" assemble procedures are yet to be published.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Technical support is provided by Rootio. Email: info@rootio.org.

Replacement Components

Replacement components may be found locally.


The lifecycle depends on each element of the solution and quality of electronics connectors and methods of power generation.

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Rootio hopes to increase the reach of broadcast stations and increase the number of users.

Vetted Performance Status

Resilient Africa Network has performed a third party evaluation of Rootio.


Lightning is an issue with large antennas. Users must remain cautious with all electrical components and follow standards, guidelines, and local and country regulations.

Complementary Technical Systems

Large broadcasting towers accompany the radio in a bucket concept and the cloud/app offering.

Academic Research and References

Csíkszentmihályi C., Mukundane J., 2016. RootIO: ICT + telephony for grassroots radio. IST-Africa Week Conference.

Compliance with regulations

Users are required to comply with the in-country FM regulatory framework to install a radio station. Commonly a license provided by local/country government is needed to broadcast.v

Evaluation methods

The number of broadcasters and the number of listeners reached.

Other Information

Watch this video to learn more.

Comments from the Community

1 Comment

  1. Anna Murray says:

    – “Academic research is not traditionally done on water containers” is not actually true! Although, there is usually not a comparison of different types of safe water storage containers. This paper reports on safe storage reducing diarrhea, although it wasn’t this type of container: http://journals.plos.org/pl

    – It’s unclear why the “field testing” entry is linked to the Oxfam site.
    – Also, the link to the CDC webpage for the statement that “The bucket meets Oxfam’s internal regulations” is unclear. That link doesn’t reference internal regulations.

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