September 8, 2005 Amsterdam -- Alcatel will provide RAI Way--a business unit of RAI, the Italian national TV broadcaster--with a full Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) backbone transport network for video contribution and distribution throughout Italy. Based on Alcatel's new optical data-aware technology, the network will allow RAI Way to offer a more expansive catalog of radio-TV channels such as cultural entertainment and public interest channels in addition to the existing educational broadcasts. Advanced multimedia services, interactive services, and new content provider broadcasts also will be supported.
The optical multi-service network to be deployed by Alcatel will enable RAI Way to migrate from analog TV to DTT, thus delivering more powerful multiplexing capabilities for video broadcast, say Alcatel representatives. As a result, the number of video signals that RAI Way's distribution network can transport is increased from one TV channel up to five TV channels per frequency, along with additional audio channels and data services--while minimizing the infrastructure costs and simplifying network operations. For end users, this means that a broader range of video content services, including movie format (16:9), sporting events, or documentaries in high-definition can be enjoyed with the highest image and sound quality comparable to that of a DVD.
According to Alcatel, its end-to-end solution is based on the Alcatel Optical Multi-Service Node (OMSN), which is equipped with a unique card for aggregating Asynchronous Serial Interface (ASI) video signals, the Integrated Service Adapter (ISA)-Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) ASI. The video signals are transported over the contribution network linking TV studios nationwide via the backbone network. These signals are then distributed through the broadcast network, counting 2,300 centers, using Alcatel's 9600 LSY SDH microwave radio equipment, which is widely deployed in the backbone networks of telecom carriers and TV broadcasters worldwide. Furthermore, the Alcatel solution provides RAI Way with advanced Ethernet data connectivity to support internal IT applications, say company representatives.
The new Alcatel ISA-DVB ASI enables the transport of digital video over terrestrial, cable, and mobile networks as well as via satellite. The new development offers a package for the transport of DVB signals, including ISA-ATM and Ethernet cards. Already standardized by the ITU-T, this card complements the existing range of ISA plug-ins that can equip Alcatel's Optical Multi-Service Node (OMSN) systems. The ISA (DVB) ASI card, specifically developed for RAI can now be adapted to other operator networks.
The RAI Way project follows the successful implementation of a metro network based on the Alcatel 1696 Metrospan in Rome for video signal encoding. The Alcatel 1350 management suite will manage both the new and existing equipment, including the SDH microwave radio systems.