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Thomson Broadcast Helps Reach Expats

SPECIAL REPORT: New shortwave installation at Kabirpur helps Bangladesh Betar reach Bangladeshis abroad

KABIRPUR, Bangladesh — Dedicated industry trend-spotters have noticed that broadcasters are currently devoting a lot of time and resources to extending their services beyond national boundaries.

Some of the bigger names in broadcasting have had an international presence for many years, and many more recent entrants are taking advantage of the spread of global cable and satellite infrastructure that now offers a platform for delivering services to almost any point in the world.

But it is not just the largest broadcasters who are actively pursuing international expansion, and fiber and satellite links are not the only way of extending a broadcast brand.

The Thomson TSW 2300D Transmitter

Bangladesh has long been an exporter of professional labor, with Bangladeshi workers finding their way in large numbers to many parts of the globe. Much of this migration has been to neighboring countries and regions, including Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

It is to expats in these countries that national radio broadcaster Bangladesh Betar is now reaching out with a new high-powered shortwave transmitter.

Bangladesh Betar already operates a range of Thomson Broadcast shortwave and medium-wave transmitters, including a 1 MW medium-wave transmitter supplied in 2008 for domestic national coverage.

Its latest shortwave installation at Kabirpur, 40 kilometers north of the capital Dhaka, will allow Bangladesh Betar’s broadcasts to reach target areas between 1,000 and 4,000 kilometers in any direction.

The new transmitter, to be delivered during summer 2011, is fitted with Thomson’s latest generation of technology for greater energy efficiency and DRM30 digital radio capability. The Digital Radio Mondiale systems is not yet established in the region, but Bangladesh Betar wanted to achieve the twin aims of reaching audiences in the Gulf, Middle East and parts of the Indian subcontinent and of being ready to implement DRM when market conditions in neighboring nations were right.

India is currently investing in DRM30, and working on making the receivers available at affordable prices.

Thomson Broadcast is supplying a 300 kW TSW 2300D shortwave transmitter, together with shortwave HP-RCA 2/2/0.5 rotatable antenna system. This configuration will allow Betar to increase its coverage to the diaspora of Bangladeshi workers who rely on Betar for home news in their own language.

To meet the requirements for DRM, the transmitter is fitted as standard with a new Pulse Step Modulator (PSM) based on solid-state Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology.

Robustness is essential for an installation like this, and the PSM is equipped with 48 power modules, each equipped with modern IGBT switching devices, an integrated step-start system, and integrated safety features like short-circuit protection and IGBT supervision.

For ease of maintenance, the TSW 2300D also offers Thomson’s new computer-based transmitter control system ECOS2, which provides a simple and well-structured user interface to monitoring and control functions on the integrated color touchscreen monitor, and also allows operators to control the transmitter either locally or from a remote PC.

Another feature of the transmitter that will be useful for Bangladesh Betar in the near future is its capability across the full frequency range between 5.9 MHz and 26 MHz. The transmitter’s automatic tuning system delivers quick, reliable preset course positioning within the entire frequency range, with a new state-of-the-art algorithm for fine positioning.

The tuning capacity, linked to the rotatable antenna, gives Bangladesh Betar the ability to extend its reach much further than before, allowing Betar to broadcast into target areas at any selected frequency with narrow bandwidth.

Shortwave radio of course predates satellite as a way of reaching audiences beyond national borders. With its versatile new shortwave capability combined with support for future DRM implementation, Bangladesh Betar’s new facility equips the broadcaster for an international outreach that will allow it to connect with the Bangladeshi diaspora for many years to come.

Josef Troxler is vice president of marketing for Thomson Broadcast, based in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, France.

For information from Thomson Broadcast, contact Jean-Charles Daninos in France at telephone: +33-1-34-90-30-11, or visit