Newtec and Saudi-based integrator Delta Company Limited are collaborating in creating the infrastructure for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's launch of five private radio stations. Broadcasting to 30 FM radio towers, the new radio stations will reach an anticipated audience of around 25 million people, facilitated by ASBU's (Arab States Broadcasting Union) owned-and-operated MENOS (Multimedia Exchange Network Over Satellite) system which was designed and implemented by Newtec.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made five licenses available for private radio broadcasters. The licenses have been granted after an auction which raised funds for the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information (MOCI). The Saudi authorities' plan includes provision for an expected total of 80 towers to provide for full national coverage and local ad-insertion, using the new capabilities and new services of MENOS.
"This is an important stage in our media transformation programme, and we are very pleased that this multi-program private radio will be available in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with coverage reaching almost 90 percent of the Saudi population," says Dr. Riyadh Najm, Assistant Deputy Minister for Engineering at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture and Information.
The MENOS Radio Satellite Interactive Terminal (SIT) can be used to contribute radio content from the remote station to the MENOS hub where it can be redistributed. The Radio SIT can also locally receive the radio content distributed from the MENOS hubs to the FM stations. The flexibility of MENOS allows the contributor/distributor to schedule the exchange of the radio content at any time in an automated way. Up to four audio input channels and four output channels are supported, all of which can be streamed simultaneously.
"The radio infrastructure is a keystone of the media programme in Saudi Arabia," says Slaheddine Maaoui, Director General of the ASBU. "The MENOS technology provides the platform to enable an advanced and robust operation, which is setting new standards both in the region and for the industry as a whole."
"Newtec's technology has made it possible to create a robust, highly efficient and advanced infrastructure." says Mohammed S. Tarabulsi, CEO of Delta Company.
As an integrated satellite IP access platform, the MENOS Radio SIT provides an 'always-on' high-bandwidth Intranet and Internet connection, both for unicast and multicast traffic. Network members also use this connection for capacity reservations, monitor and control of the towers, and VoIP services.
"We are delighted to be enjoying a fruitful collaboration with Delta Company as part of our involvement in the exciting and multi-faceted Saudi media transformation project," says Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec. "This is further evidence of our growing presence in the region -- including in Saudi Arabia itself with our award-winning MENOS solution owned and operated by our partner ASBU -- and we continue to see the Middle East as a vital part of the company's growth plans for the future."