IBC2018 is approaching. Between now and then Radio World offers a series of short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the annual trade show. John Whyte is head of marketing for Nautel.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show?
John Whyte: Over the past 12 months Nautel has been pleased to see an ever-increasing base of international customers endorse our Worry Free Transmission strategy by deploying Nautel transmitters. The world’s largest broadcasters and largest transmission sites are relying on Nautel. For example, over the past year we have completed very large projects in both Bonaire (in the Caribbean) and Hungary. A 400 kW NX400 was placed on-air in Bonaire for Trans World Radio and our largest transmitter ever, a 2 Megawatt NX2000, was commissioned near Solt, Hungary for Antenna Hungaria.
RW: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?
Whyte: Thanks to a robust world economy we are seeing a lot of confidence displayed by broadcasters. That confidence is translating into capital projects. We are seeing the same confidence being shown by public broadcasters who are looking at ways to refresh their transmission infrastructure and reduce operating costs and prepare for digital transmission.
RW: You’ve been active in the transmitter market for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Whyte: Challenges and opportunities always seem to go together. Broadcasters around the world are faced with two realities that are at odds with one another: they are under pressure to reduce operating costs, but at the same time they must maintain increasingly complex technology. There is no way around it and in most cases they must do this with a smaller technical staff than they’ve had in the past. Those are big challenges; at Nautel we’ve been putting a lot of effort into helping broadcasters meet them head-on with what we call Worry-Free Transmission. Our goal is to take the worry out of managing transmission sites through the technologies we offer.
We’ve long been known for our efforts to reduce operating costs via increased transmitter efficiency. Another thing we focus on is using advanced web-based technology to help simplify the management and operation of transmitters. Where it makes sense, we’ve been building technologies into our transmitters that traditionally required separate components, wiring and management. Nautel transmitters incorporate the industry’s most advanced control, advanced instrumentation, audio back up, streaming, IP interfaces and some models even can include Orban audio processing.
To complete the picture Nautel provides support services that rate as high or higher than many of the world’s best known and loved consumer companies. All in in all our focus is on helping customers meet their broadcasting challenges head on so they can focus on creating new opportunities for themselves and their listeners.
RW: Why should attendees visit your booth?
Whyte: We’d really like to encourage MW broadcasters to stop by our stand, 8.C49, and learn about the opportunity to refresh their transmission infrastructure. For many MW broadcasters, the substantial operating cost reduction seen through 90 percent efficient transmitters can be a strong incentive to move to modern, more maintainable equipment. Couple the economics of new transmitters with the broadcasting opportunities presented by digital transmission, and there can be some compelling reasons to upgrade to modern solid state technology.
RW: Is the show a good investment for you and your company?
Whyte: The IBC show attracts a broad swath of the world broadcasting community. There is the strong and obvious European attendance but we also look forward to meeting visitors from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It is one of the world’s greatest broadcast technology events.
RW: What’s hot in the rest of the world? What’s the same – Radio is radio no matter where you go?
Whyte: Yes, the power of radio transcends geography. Everywhere radio creates relationships, communicates, entertains and can connect listeners to the communities where they live … all in a media that fits the way listeners multitask in their daily lives. No matter where people live, they are listening while working, doing chores or commuting. The differences we see are more in makeup of how radio gets delivered and the listening behaviors of audiences in varying geographies.
North American audiences are very auto- focused in their listening with a large private broadcasting sector. Many other geographies are biased towards home or workplace listening with public broadcasters making up a much larger sector. At Nautel we’re passionate about radio in all its nuanced listening and delivery forms and look forward to meeting with both new and old friends in the broadcasting community at IBC.