Case Study:
Telemetry and monitoring of remote sites for Towercast (FR)

Telemetry and monitoring of remote sites for Towercast (FR)

Eutelsat Broadband and Adista helps TowerCast keep its radio and television channels broadcasting 24/7 with satellite telemetry solutions

With the explosion of radio and television channels to meet the growing demand for broadcast services, Eutelsat Business Broadband specialises in using its satellite solutions to help companies like TowerCast monitor transmissions 24/7.

TowerCast helps radio and television channels reach the people of France via its 500 relay and transmission sites across the country. Its broadcast customers expect a very high-quality service and high degree of availability, so the sites are monitored by the engineering team 24/7.

“Managing and monitoring sites across the whole of France is a real challenge because they are spread far and wide and in areas that aren’t necessarily urban, and often not urban at all,” said Nicolas Bruxaires, of TowerCast. “The ADSL solutions that we use in the built-up areas work well but unfortunately they can’t be rolled out across the whole of France because of the lack of infrastructure in many areas.”

Hence, in areas such as the remote countryside or the mountains of Corsica the historical alternative had been a 3G solution. However, TowerCast has found this technology to be unreliable in many cases. The company has investigated building its own VSAT satellite solution but soon realised this was complicated and potentially expensive to set-up on its own.

After speaking with IT and telecoms specialist provider Adista, TowerCast realised that there was a solution available using Adista and Eutelsat Broadband’s KA-SAT satellite.

Xavier Wybo, Sales Director Major Accounts for Adista, explained: “We met with TowerCast and they wanted to find a solution to one of the issues they faced, which was being able to remotely manage sites located in areas that were hard to access. It seemed obvious to us that the solution was working with Eutelsat’s KA-SAT to offer TowerCast a solution for telemetry and monitoring at all its remote sites.”

The KA-SAT solution is deployed by TowerCast’s technical experts out in the regions. They specialise in the operation of FM and television transmitters as well as management and transmission tools. With the help of Eutelsat’s alignment tools, TowerCast have set up user guides that they can use to deploy the KA-SAT solution by themselves. This commissioning and deployment process is a genuine success because it means the solution can be regionally deployed without requiring experts to be on hand at all times.

As the sites are often in areas that experience harsh weather conditions, including freezing temperatures, Adista and Eutelsat also worked together to provide a de-icing system for satellite antennas to ensure they remained operational at all times. With KA-SAT playing a key role in the solution, Adista now helps deploy and oversees the entire monitoring service.

“Adista brought us its experience, because it had already deployed these solutions in the past,” commented Nicolas. “Its special relationship with Eutelsat enabled a genuine understanding of our requirement and the best technological options.”

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