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The widest popular definition of the shortwave frequency interval is the ITU Region 1 (EU Africa Russia...) definition, and is the span 1.6–30 MHz, just above the medium wave band, which ends approximately at 1.6 MHz.
In 1922 hundreds of North American amateurs were heard in Europe on 200 meters and at least 20 North American amateurs heard amateur signals from Europe.The first two-way communications between North American and Hawaiian amateurs began in 1922 at 200 meters.Although operation on wavelengths shorter than 200 meters was technically illegal (but tolerated as the authorities mistakenly believed at first that such frequencies were useless for commercial or military use), amateurs began to experiment with those wavelengths using newly available vacuum tubes shortly after World War I.Shortwave radio received its name because the wavelengths in this band are shorter than 200 m (1,500 k Hz) which marked the original upper limit of the medium frequency band first used for radio communications.The broadcast medium wave band now extends above the 200 m/1,500 k Hz limit, and the amateur radio 1.8 MHz – 2.0 MHz band (known as the "top band") is the lowest-frequency band considered to be 'shortwave'.
Beam Wireless Services from the UK to Australia, South Africa and India went into service in 1927. By 1928, more than half of long distance communications had moved from transoceanic cables and longwave wireless services to shortwave and the overall volume of transoceanic shortwave communications had vastly increased.