Jacaranda FM and Kaya FM employ Telemedia’s VSAT offering for live outside broadcasts

The location for day one of Jacaranda FM’s Live Show broadcast from Afriski Mountain Resort

Telemedia launched its VSAT product offering at Mediatech Africa 2019. Since then, the company has seen an increase in customers requiring a reliable, yet cost-effective internet over satellite link. Telemedia’s VSAT offering is tailored to each customer’s individual requirements, and can be dry-hired, or accompanied by an experienced engineer.

One of the first customers to make use of Telemedia’s VSAT system was Jacaranda FM. The radio station needed to broadcast live from the CompCare Afriski Winterfest, held at the Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho. While mobile phone network coverage was adequate for voice calls, it was not good enough to sustain an internet connection for long periods of time – even for small bandwidth users, such as live radio outside broadcasts.

Jacaranda FM chose to dry-hire the necessary equipment from Telemedia. The Jacaranda technician who collected the equipment from Telemedia received a quick crash-course on how to align the dish with the satellite, and how to operate the VSAT Terminal (modem).

After locating the satellite and peaking for maximum signal, the terminal locks to the Hub carrier, and receives all of its instructions from then on. The portable 1.2m flyaway uplink dish was easily set up, and provided a dedicated, uncontended 1Mb/s upload and 4Mb/s download speed. Telemedia also provides uncapped data packages, suitable for streaming applications that use a lot of data over a prolonged period of time.

Maxwell Motloung, Jacaranda FM’s IT and Technical Systems Technician, was impressed with the easy setup and terminal performance. “Telemedia’s pro-active monitoring of the system, with real-time analytical information was very re-assuring. Being out in the middle of nowhere, this satellite internet connection was our only reliable and consistent connection back to base in Midrand,” comments Motloung.

Bi-directional communication lines and playlist control were also carried over the link. The Jacaranda crew was able to check emails, do general internet browsing and, most importantly, connect their live outside broadcast with the main studio.

Kaya FM also made use of Telemedia’s VSAT system at the Jazz on the Lake Festival, which took place at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg. Kaya FM were concerned that cellphone networks would be congested, given that more than 20,000 people were due to attend the free concert. That number was exceeded, and cell phone signal was indeed a problem. The satellite internet connection provided 4Mb/s in both directions for the duration of the event.

Telemedia deloyed an SNG vehicle and engineer for the event, to provide a higher capacity VSAT link. Our Uplink vehicle also provided power for the Kaya FM OB van. Nizaam Ajouhaar, Technical Manager at Kaya FM, was extremely happy with the service, knowing that Telemedia’s IP over satellite link would handle all his connectivity needs.

Should you wish to make use of Telemedia’s VSAT links, please email info@telemedia.co.za