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GatesAir Appoints Omnicast As Australian Distribution Channel

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GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, has appointed Sydney-based Omnicast as an Australian distribution channel effective immediately. Omnicast will partner with GatesAir with an emphasis on delivering complete systems and guiding broadcasters through challenging transitions — notably migration to DAB+ digital radio systems.

Omnicast is a systems integrator and distributor specializing in radio, television, cinema and satellite systems. Led by industry veterans Mario Fairlie (managing director) and Ian McKenzie (engineering director), the company provides a full array of services across systems design, equipment supply, project management, installation and commissioning, as well as ongoing maintenance services.

According to Mr. Fairlie, GatesAir’s vast portfolio of radio solutions from studio to transmitter well-position the company for future success across Australia. This includes the vast opportunities for DAB+ digital radio migration as well as the ongoing shift from legacy to IP transport systems. He also points to GatesAir’s high-efficiency, ultra-compact transmitter designs as a significant benefit for broadcasters across Australia, where transmitter rental space is highly expensive.

"GatesAir’s recent introduction of liquid-cooled TV and radio transmitters will deliver a two-year payback for broadcasters in Australia—particularly within the major cities where annual site rentals can exceed $100,000 in U.S. dollars," said Fairlie. "And having worked in the broadcast industry for more than 40 years, I can unequivocally state that GatesAir makes the highest-performance transmitters in the business. Their ability to deliver that long-term reliability and operational cost-savings will be especially valuable as the DAB Radio transition extends outward from the main cities."

The DAB Radio transition has taken shape in the cities of Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, with approximately 3 million listeners to date. Omnicast expects the DAB+ digital radio migration to spread into "regional areas" over the next few years, eventually covering most of the country’s 22 million residents. GatesAir’s IP-networked DAB+ architecture is ideal for national rollouts, bringing together its Maxiva™ VAX transmitters with ETI/EDI transport for multipoint signal distribution. Omnicast’s position against competitive DAB/DAB+ suppliers is especially strong given its ability to provide complete DAB Radio headend solutions along with high-efficiency GatesAir transmission systems.

Moving forward, Mr. Fairlie expects to transition radio networks to GatesAir networked studio systems, and sees numerous opportunities to migrate AM/FM broadcasters from legacy to IP transport networks with GatesAir Intraplex® IP Link codecs.

"I am particularly pleased to appoint Omnicast as a key channel partner in Australia, especially given Mario’s long professional association with the Australian broadcasting industry and successful 30-year history with supplying and integrating Harris Broadcast over-the-air TV and radio systems prior to our transition to GatesAir," said Darren Frearson, vice president, southeast Asia and Oceania for GatesAir. "Mario’s notable achievements in the commercial radio sector include instigating the release of the Channel 9 analog spectrum in Australia to enable the DAB+ digital radio rollout. GatesAir welcomes Omnicast and we look forward to a long and successful partnership."

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