GatesAir provides ERTU with a signal boost
EGYPT: The Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) has selected GatesAir’s Flexiva transmitter and Intraplex intelligent IP networking solutions as part of what is reportedly the ‘largest digital FM radio rollout to date in the Middle East’. The purpose of the installation was to expand the Cairo-based broadcaster’s FM radio coverage across the county. GatesAir worked with its local partner, Cairo Communication Systems (CCS) on the project, which was led by the latter’s managing director, Amr Shedid.
The installation saw 27 GatesAir Flexiva FLX 10kW solid-state transmitters, configured in an eight plus one single-frequency network (SFN). This will facilitate three transmission sites, each served by a cluster of eight Flexivas, while an additional unit serves as an automated back-up. GatesAir also reports that the ‘eight plus one configuration makes this SFN the largest of its kind in the world’.
The setup is designed to leave no dead spots, particularly in Northern Egypt, which has historically suffered from unreliable FM radio reception. As each SFM utilises eight transmitters broadcasting the same signals simultaneously, the reception is reportedly seamless when they overlap due to the transmitters all being aligned to the same GPS timing source. Synchronisation is facilitated by GatesAir Intraplex IP Link audio codecs, including a built-in Intraplex SynchroCast option that manages precision delays to keep the SFNs broadcasting simultaneously.
‘With the addition of this powerful, energy-efficient FM radio SFN transmission infrastructure, ERTU will be able to greatly expand their FM radio coverage area to include remote regions hundreds of kilometres away where people cannot currently receive any over the air radio stations,’ explained Rich Redmond, chief product officer for GatesAir. ‘GatesAir will prove that our FM radio transmitters and SFN technology are capable of handling the demands of this state-of-the-art configuration reliably, and without compromising the signal quality.’