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NBC Delivers International Viewing Event with Help from RAD Carrier Ethernet

October 18, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Rapid speed for delivery – it’s what every network or Internet user desires. Now that the demand for content-rich multimedia viewing is rapidly increasing, the call for Carrier Ethernet is sounding throughout the industry. When special events take place, this technology platform can provide the direct link between the event and a global audience.

NBC TV learned just how powerful Carrier Ethernet from RAD Data Communications (News - Alert) can be when it launched a temporary voice and data network to broadcast events live from the Vatican. This case study chronicled how RAD Carrier Ethernet equipment was used to achieve extremely fast extension of the network, while also delivering significant savings on satellite uplink costs.

The challenge in this situation was to deploy a communication system that was cost effective, reliable and compact, while also being resilient enough to overcome the typical network interruptions that can affect the quality of the voice communications.

To overcome this challenge, RAD implemented the Vmux-2100 and Megaplex-2100 to create an onsite remote communications network. This network was configured to carry fax, LAN, modem and 96 channels of voice traffic transparently over the single T1 circuit while maintaining the quality and integrity of the voice data.

With this Carrier Ethernet solution firmly in place, NBC TV was able to reduce the costs associated with the satellite uplink with 4:1 voice compression, sustain the connectivity and signaling of the voice communications for up to five minutes when network interruptions occurred and enjoy a flexible, reliable and compact system delivered as an instant plug-and-play remote on-site network.  

“We were looking for a quick, reliable solution and we found that in RAD,” said Leonard Venezi, Technical Manager, NBC Network Field Operations. “Using RAD's transparent voice compression, NBC was able to cut the facilities cost by 75 percent by reducing the required number of satellite circuits from four to one. The flexibility we’ve gained from using RAD’s solutions has been extremely good for us, especially in this type of overseas broadcast and news environment which calls for rapid deployment of communications networks.”

RAD’s Carrier Ethernet was delivered with the help of Pulse (News - Alert) Communications, a RAD partner and provider of wide area network solutions and data communications. NBC began deploying RAD products years ago in anticipation of the broadcast of the Salt Lake City and Sydney Olympics. In continuing to add RAD products, the network has been able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars, while also delivering an optimal viewing experience for millions of citizens.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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