Wednesday, 8 December 2010

[creative-radio] Internews Taps Afghanistan Cellular Network to link 41 community radio stations

RT @creative_radio: @Internews Taps Afghanistan Cellular Network
up to 24 channels using "Radio over IP" for 41 community radio stations
*KABUL, Afghanistan* — The telecommunications sector in Afghanistan is
vibrant with four main telecom operators providing cellular telephone
coverage to even the most remote corners of the mountainous country.
The Internews Network, a California-based nonprofit NGO that seeks to
develop independent local media around the globe, launched Salam Watandar
("Hello, Countryman") in Kabul in 2004, providing news, current affairs,
educational and cultural programming in the Dari and Pashtu languages. Its
programs are carried by 41 local independent and community stations in 27 of
Afghanistan's 34 provinces.
"In the past, we had to rely on a one-way free-to-air channel on Eutelsat
Hot Bird 6 to get our programming to our affiliates, with no real way for
them to have immediate two-way communication with us or with partner network
stations," said Charmaine Anderson, Internews country director for
"But now that a local Afghan wireless company is providing us with 2 Mbps of
bandwidth on their cellular telephone backbone, we have two-way
communications with all of our affiliates. Not only does this make it easier
to feed network programming, but now we can share content and communications
in real time.
The first thing to understand about Salam Watandar network communications is
that they are transported using "Radio over IP," or RoIP. In other words,
all audio is converted to digital, IP-based files, so that they can be
efficiently transmitted over the cellular telephone backbone.
the files are distributed in real-time to affiliates, who are also equipped
with Ubiquiti Bullets and IQOYA *Link boxes. Because the network is
IP-based, the Kabul hub can send down other programs at the same time and
support two-way voice calls. It can also receive content coming in from the
Internews began testing the RoIP cellular telephone backbone in April 2010,
and it is changing the way the network does business. No longer are
affiliates passive receivers of information: They are now active members who
contribute to overall programming. This two-way reach will vastly improve
Salam Watandar's ability to cover breaking news, and make the service more
relevant to listeners across Afghanistan.

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