The Access portable is attached to the Verizon 4G modem. Comrex said a POTS connection was intended to be used as the primary, but the Access/Verizon connection ‘proved more reliable.’
What better way to test something than throwing it into the fire of an on-air broadcast?
Comrex and New York’s WOR(AM) did that recently for a two-hour remote of the “Joan Hamburg Show” from the 21 Club. When a planned POTS codec connection didn’t work out, engineers turned to a 4G backup plan.
According to Comrex, show engineers used an Access Portable codec with Verizon Pantech UML290 4G adapter to establish a stable connection with the studio via a 4G-based data link. Support for the Verizon UML290 4G modem is included in Access firmware version 2.8.
Buckley Broadcasting/WOR Corporate Director for Engineering Tom Ray was quoted by Comrex: “We had attempted Access remotes on 3G in New York City before. It simply doesn’t work well inside the city. So I was skeptical about using 4G in Manhattan. We were in an area that is notorious for poor cellular calls. But the 4G just simply worked.”
Tom Hartnett of Comrex noted that New York’s skyscrapers are challenging for remotes. “ISDN is difficult and expensive to install and 3G signals are notoriously overloaded.” Hartnett said new Verizon 4G service “allows Access to deliver incredible quality and low delay in environments that couldn’t previously support any wireless remote broadcasts. The 700 MHz band used by Verizon LTE provides for superior building penetration.”