Harris Corp. Completes $85 Million Phase 1 of Nationwide Romanian Broadcast Communications System --- World's largest-ever radio modernization program completed two years ahead of schedule, in time to broadcast Romania's December 2004 election results
January 27, 2005
by -- Harris Corporation
Harris Corporation today announced completion-nearly two years ahead of schedule-of the $85 million first phase of a comprehensive program to upgrade and expand the nationwide broadcast infrastructure of S.N. Radiocomunicatii S.A., Romania's state-owned broadcast organization. Modernization of Romania's aging broadcast communications system marks a critical step forward for Romania and its population, bringing the country up to date with the
solid-state analogue technology favored in Western Europe. Harris' end-to-end radio and television solution also provides S.N. Radiocomunicatii S.A. with a clear path to the digital future.
Phase 1 of the three-phase project, which is providing 100 percent radio coverage throughout Romania, was completed in just 20 months instead of the anticipated four-and-one-half years. Harris accelerated the project by dedicating the additional engineering and technical resources needed
to establish nationwide radio coverage before Romania's election in November 2004. Harris supplied 28 low-power (10kW to 50kW) medium wave transmitters, eight high-power (200KW and 400KW) medium wave transmitters, and 106 FM radio transmitters for local coverage as well as longer distances of difficult terrain at sites throughout Romania.
The range and diversity of transmitters was essential to ensure 100 percent nationwide radio broadcast coverage for Romania's regional network and two national networks across urban areas and vast stretches of rural communities often divided by the Carpathian Mountains.
Gabriel Grecu, president of S.N. Radiocomunicatii, said, "The ability to transmit high-quality radio and television broadcast signals throughout the country is crucial. Our previous system employed Eastern technology and frequency standards that were of poor quality and frequently unreliable. Our nationwide reception is now excellent, and we've
harmonized our radio frequency bands with Western standards. We're even looking into digital audio broadcasting (DAB) for the Bucharest area. The whole project represents a huge improvement that benefits not just our broadcast capabilities, but Romanian society as a whole. What makes
this achievement even more remarkable is that, due to the often-remote geography of Romania, there are really only six months of the year when many of these areas are accessible. The engineering, technology and co-ordination support of our Harris team was superb."
The end-to-end transmission solution also included antenna systems, microware links for resource sharing, engineering, installation, training and commissioning services. In addition, the first of many high- and low-power television transmitters and transposers were installed. The television installations begin upgrades to Romania's television transmission infrastructure, which will be expanded and completed during the remainder of the modernization program.
Furthermore, three control and monitoring networks will reduce
operational costs at each station facility by enabling the remote monitoring of all radio and television transmission equipment from four regional headquarters.
Until now, it has been conservatively estimated that the country's aging broadcast technology did not reach up to 40 percent of Romania's 22.3 million. With the completion of the radio phase of the modernization project, the country now enjoys 100 percent radio coverage at a higher fidelity and lower cost. With the inclusion of new RDS capabilities,
public radio stations can be received and retained on the move
throughout the country. Romania also has the ability to reach Romanians living in other European countries with the use of a Harris long-wave AM transmitter.
"Romania is showing Eastern Europe that the time to upgrade to solid-state analogue technology is now," said Debra Huttenburg, vice president and general manager of Harris Broadcast Communications' Radio Broadcast Systems business unit. "This is a great example of how the move from antiquated tube technology to solid-state technology can
provide significantly lower operating costs and higher reliability. Romania has not only undergone the single largest installation program in radio history, but it has also ensured that there is a digital future in place for its entire broadcast communications infrastructure. The fact that Harris completed the first phase nearly two years ahead of schedule also demonstrates that we can deliver comprehensive broadcast
systems no matter what size and scale."
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