Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, has completed a major upgrade for Omantel, the national and leading telecoms company of Oman. These latest enhancements significantly boost the performance and resiliency of Omantel state-of-the-art contribution and distribution networks, which rely heavily on the Selenio™ Media Convergence Platform (MCP) from Imagine Communications.
Omantel was the launch customer for the Selenio MCP, which enables media companies to combine baseband digital audio and video and compressed and uncompressed IP media signals into common workflows. Omantel leverages the power and flexibility of the Selenio MCP to operate a highly agile network linking 55 sites over dedicated fibre providing high-quality HD contribution and distribution services to studios and transmission centres across the country. The same platform also supports backhaul operations for remote productions, including sports and national events.
The new project upgrades Omantel’s operations from outdated transmission technology to Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) through the addition of networking modules to the Selenio MCP, which supports both digital video and long-distance connectivity over fibre in the same 3RU chassis. The result is mission-critical, real-time video transport based on open standards over both media and telecoms networks. The Selenio MCP solution’s support for baseband and IP protocols enables Omantel to use a single device for both SDI and MPEG-2 transport streams on the broadcaster side, significantly reducing operational complexity. Signals are encoded or transcoded as needed for cost-optimizing the Omantel fibre network, while helping to ensure resilience through redundant paths.
In addition to feeding all terrestrial transmitters in Oman, the telco’s network provides contribution circuits for live broadcasts, such as sports and major public events, to the broadcasting centre. This makes for an extremely reliable solution while reducing operational costs typical of traditional links vehicles from remote areas. Where live coverage is required from a location outside of Omantel’s extensive coverage area, Imagine Communications has provided portable kits to extend the network.
“Our goal in designing this network was to meet the quality and reliability requirements of our clients in a very cost-effective way, using open telecoms standards,” said Said Abdullah Al Ajmi, vice president of operations at Omantel. “Imagine Communications was our preferred partner as they possess the broadcast technology, the interfaces to telecoms standards, the vision to create the network we sought and the local support to work with us to deliver excellence consistently. The core platform has performed exactly as we had hoped, and we continue to work with Imagine to extend the capabilities to meet our clients’ demands.”
Anas Hantash, director of sales for MENA at Imagine Communications, added: “With this groundbreaking deployment, Omantel is seizing the opportunity that real-time IP connectivity offers, and they are building out a network that takes advantage of the latest in telecoms techniques to deliver very high standards of resilience and consistency. Our Selenio MCP provides the perfect bridge between SDI and IP, as well as telecom and broadcast, ensuring that Omantel’s broadcast customers get the quality and reliability they demand.
“We continue to work closely with Omantel,” Hantash added. “This year’s project to upgrade the network modules is just one way we are striving together to achieve ever better standards of performance.”
The upgrade was carried out in the third quarter of 2017.