January Member Spotlight: Belanet

The Wi-Fi dish from Adolph Vosloo of Belanet worked so excellent for our three day broadcast, we hate to tell the opposition about it!” – Kobus Rudolph, CEO : Radio Rippel 90.5fm

WAPA member Belanet recently supplied connectivity to Radio Rippel 90.5fm, a community radio station broadcasting relevant community news in Gauteng. The company’s director, Kobus Rudolph, was so impressed by the rapid deployment and quality of service they received, when mobile operators and larger telcos had been unable to deliver, that they wrote the following testimonial:

“Radio broadcasting has been with us for many years. OB’s as well… (Nothing to do with sherry!) OB’s = OUTSIDE BROADCASTS.

When organising an OB, one had to arrange Telkom Landlines to be installed at the venue where it would take place… normal, low quality, telephone lines. Set-up the OB studio, connect to the landline, and the listeners would listen for the next few hours to a thin, mono broadcast sounding horrible.

Then came high quality ISDN lines. Still TELKOM had to install them – if their exchange in the area had ISDN connections. But at the OB and at the permanent studio back at the offices, an ISDN codecs is needed – at R35 000.00 each, if one can afford it. But the lines could not always be trusted. The OB could go off-air when the lines “fall”. Get a technician at 12:00 on a Saturday to come and fix the line… that is another challenge.

From 2010/2011 Radio Rippel 90.5 FM in Pretoria started making use of 3G for its OB’s. It is cheaper, quicker to set-up and no installations or booking of lines are required. But those who knew more said, “That cannot be done! It is not trustworthy! The quality is too bad!”

Yes. Broadcasting on 3 G – streaming the audio through Vodacom/MTN to a server in Johannesburg and getting the audio from our studio in Pretoria from the same server was not always trustworthy! But it worked. Sometimes we would broadcast for 8 hours non stop!! Excellent! And sometimes the signal would break-up 30 times per hour. We have a 50% success rate.

Until we were asked to be the official radio broadcaster for the yearly KykNet Buite-ekspo at Mbizi Caravan Lodge, outside Warmbaths.
Adolph Vosloo, owner of Belanet, installed a dedicated Wi-Fi dish and relayed the signal to the towers – he would know the whole technical detail and route. Radio Rippel 90.5 FM broadcast the whole of the expo for three days, 8 hours per day, non-stop. No glitch, no stuttering and no breakdowns!

It can work. It does work. Now we want to use this technology for all of our Outside Broadcasts… even if it is outside our provincial borders…”

Radio Rippel is now interested in working with other WAPA members to deliver connectivity to their mobile broadcasting unit in and around Gauteng.