Unbreakable Outdoor Broadcasting: RTL Radio Center Berlin GmbH


Mobiles Sendestudio: RTL Radio auch unterwegs immer on air

In Germany, despite numerous forms of digitalized options, radio has remained one of the most popular forms of media consumption. To keep listeners engaged, an uninterrupted transmission is highly essential. For this, RTL Radio Center Berlin GmbH (RTL Radio) relies on Peplink router solutions for its mobile broadcasting studios.


Required: An easy to deploy solution for uninterrupted live broadcasts

RTL Radio operates the popular stations 104.6 RTL, 105’5 Spree radio and the youth station 93.6 JAM FM. In addition to modern audio productions for FM, DAB+, streams or podcasts, RTL also provides many outdoor live broadcasts – e.g. of sports events, cultural events or the carnival parade.

The solutions

To cover these live outdoor events in the best quality and without interference, the IT/Audio team from RTL Radio looked for a first-class router solution that could guarantee uninterrupted outdoor live transmission through a stable connection. The solution also needs to be easy and fast to deploy for employees travelling to different broadcast locations. Previously, booking DSL connections for outdoor broadcasts required weeks in advance. The DSL connections had high latency, not entirely reliable and incurred additional costs. This also led to “cable spaghetti” which made deployments messy and time-consuming.

Vitel, Peplink’s Partner in Germany, impressed with expertise and support
The solutions

Stefan Bäumer, IT representative at RTL Radio, became aware of Vitel GmbH and Viprinet through searching “LTE router” on the Internet. When Stefan contacted Vitel, a value-added distributor based in Unterschleißheim, quickly proposed a solution with Peplink’s unbreakable mobile connectivity solutions. “We wanted to find out more about Peplink’s different solutions. The specialists from Vitel were always available to advise and support us,” said Stefan. “Together we found the optimal solution for our specific requirements.” RTL Radio decided to use Peplink’s HD2 and HD4 mobile LTE routers with bonding capability, a Balance 380 multi-WAN enterprise router and FusionHub virtual machine at the broadcast studio to link up the mobile routers with the studio network.


How it works

In the broadcasting studio in Berlin, two different DSL lines are used with the Balance 380, which connects the HD4 and HD2 mobile LTE routers to the studio network via a SpeedFusion tunnel. This tunnel creates an unbreakable high-speed SD-WAN connection that allows live outdoor broadcasts from the mobile routers to reach the listeners without interference.

Separately, the FusionHub virtual machine is installed on the studio’s own infrastructure to establish a tunnel for telephone connections to the HD4 router. As a result, the employees of the mobile broadcasting team can be reached any time by calling a landline number – even during radio broadcasts from abroad.

The solutions

RTL Radio had special requirements such as fine-tuning of jitter and latency, and audio-over-IP prioritization. Within three weeks, Vitel had been able to clarify these technical requirements and get the Peplink devices up and running. With the new solution, RTL Radio is able to utilize the bandwidth of up to 18 WAN and mobile connections. No DSL lines have to be ordered in advance, which instantly saves valuable time and money. Setting up the mobile broadcasting studio is easier than ever, saving on average one hour on each deployment as employees no longer have to comb through countless cables.


Knowledgeable support goes a long way

“Vitel was there to support us throughout the entire project – from consulting, device selection, testing and configuration,” says Stefan Bäumer. “In the event of a tunnel failure, we called on Vitel’s support. Vitel impressed us with their comprehensive know-how. At our request, Vitel even updated and reconfigured the Fritzboxes (RTL Radio’s own network equipment).” RTL Radio is also happy to work with Vitel for upcoming system updates. “For possible future expansions as well as new solutions we will definitely turn to Vitel again”, said Bäumer.


Conclusion

Ensuring uninterrupted broadcasting in outdoor live coverage of events presents great challenges for reporters and broadcast teams, who must set up all sorts of technical equipment such as microphones, recorders etc. as well as all the lines for the Internet connection and radio transmission. With Peplink’s cutting edge networking equipment using SpeedFusion VPN technology, RTL Radio team was able to minimize deployment time with the peace of mind that radio transmission from the station is unbreakable – regardless of where the mobile broadcasting studio is located at any given time.