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GatesAir Wins Largest Single-Frequency Network FM Radio Rollout in the Middle East

Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) chooses GatesAir Flexiva™ transmitter, Intraplex intelligent IP networking, and Single Frequency Network (SFN) technology to expand multi-channel FM radio coverage nationwide
Cincinnati, OH, March 07, 2017

In advance of CABSAT 2017 in Dubai, GatesAir—a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters—is announcing that its FM radio transmission technology has been chosen by the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), in Cairo, Egypt, to expand the coverage of its many FM radio services across Egypt.

GatesAir joined forces with its strategic local partner in Egypt—Cairo Communication Systems (CCS)—to negotiate the deal, resulting in the award of the contract in December of 2016 by ERTU, led by Managing Director Mr. Amr Shedid. GatesAir will serve as a technology provider to CCS, which will be responsible for providing ongoing technical and installation support to ERTU. The installation is set to begin in the second quarter of 2017, culminating by year’s end when the transmitters will be broadcasting ERTU-run FM radio stations over the air.

As the largest digital FM radio rollout to date in the Middle East, the deal calls for deploying 27 GatesAir Flexiva FLX 10 kW liquid-cooled, solid-state transmitters configured in an 8+1 single-frequency network (SFN). When completed, the infrastructure will be comprised of three transmission sites, each of which will have a cluster of eight synchronized Flexiva transmitters, plus one additional transmitter serving as a backup that is set-up for automated failover. This 8+1 configuration also makes this SFN the largest of its kind in the world.

“ERTU broadcasts many FM radio services, predominantly in central Egypt. With the addition of this powerful, energy-efficient FM radio SFN transmission infrastructure, they’ll be able to greatly expand their FM radio coverage area to include remote regions hundreds of kilometers away where people cannot currently receive any over the air radio stations,” said Rich Redmond, chief product officer for GatesAir. “By delivering these government-run radio services to underserved areas, the public will now have access to the valuable information, music, talk and public service programming ERTU’s FM stations air.”

One area of interest is Northern Egypt. This includes a long stretch of freeway that runs from Cairo to the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea that are frequented by locals, vacationers and tourists. By installing a single-frequency network, these listeners will now have reliable FM radio reception, with no dead spots or RF interference as they drive through the coverage area. With each SFN of eight transmitters broadcasting the same signals simultaneously, the reception is seamless even when they overlap each other because the transmitters are all aligned to the same GPS timing source.

This synchronization is enabled by GatesAir Intraplex® IP Link audio codecs, which will support all intelligent IP networking needs from ERTU’s studio in Cairo and at the transmitter sites. The IP Link includes a built-in Intraplex SynchroCast option to dynamically manage precision delays that keep the SFNs broadcasting simultaneously and in sync via the private IP network infrastructure. 

GatesAir will showcase both the IP Link and the Flexiva FLX liquid-cooled transmitter at its CABSAT 2017 stand (D1-50). CABSAT takes place from March 21-23, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Center in the UAE. Flexiva liquid-cooled transmitters are especially attractive for broadcasters working hot and humid clients, where cooling and power costs can quickly escalate. GatesAir liquid-cooled transmitters employ a novel heat-to-liquid transfer process that efficiently removes heat from the RF plant, and vastly reduces air conditioning requirements and cooling costs. All GatesAir transmitters are built upon GatesAir’s market-leading PowerSmart Plus or PowerSmart 3D architectures, both of which reduce the size, weight, maintenance and power consumption of the transmitter due to industry-leading modular, high-density and energy-efficiency designs.

With this installation, Redmond said, “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 or listener experience. We will also demonstrate that, despite our technology’s high-performance, this installation will be cost-effective and leverage our green, high-efficiency PowerSmart® 3D architecture.”

About GatesAir

GatesAir, Inc. provides complete solutions for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting, leveraging wireless spectrum to maximize performance for multichannel, mission-critical services. Powering over-the-air networks worldwide with unparalleled reliability for nearly 100 years, GatesAir’s turnkey solutions enable broadcasters to transport and transmit radio and TV content.  With customers in more than 185 countries, the company leads the industry in innovation and design breakthroughs, improving efficiency and reducing total cost of ownership. Visit for more information, Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter at @GatesAir.

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