UPSTAR Comunicacoes selects Nevion’s Flashlink for long-haul optical transport of SD and HD programming

UPSTAR Comunicacoes selects Nevion’s Flashlink for long-haul optical transport of SD and HD programming

Sandefjord, Norway and Oxnard, California, April 15, 2011 – Portuguese UPSTAR Comunicacoes has selected Nevion, a leading video transport solutions provider for broadcasters, service providers and government entities worldwide, to provide advanced multiplexing, conversion and management equipment for its long-haul optical fiber transport.

UPSTAR Comunicacoes, a joint venture between ZON Multimedia—one of the leading Portuguese media groups—and the Angolan satellite TV group SOCIP, needed to transport more than 100 SD and approximately 30 uncompressed HD signals over dark fiber from central Lisbon to Vendas Novas. Nevion’s Flashlink product family enabled scalable transport of all UPSTAR’s signals in one optical fiber without any amplification over the 100km between the two sites.

“Flashlink modules combine advanced DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) and TDM (time-division multiplexing) to enable us to transmit a combination of HD and SD signals over a single fiber, while leaving room for additional wavelengths and significantly reducing our costs,” said Luis Henriques, technical director at UPSTAR. “Flashlink’s reliability, low-power and low-maintenance design were also key factors in our decision to choose Nevion.”

ZON’s challenge before choosing Nevion was to carry high quality signals over a distance close to 100km. This traditionally involved complicated and expensive compression transport solutions.

With the media group already an existing user of Flashlink, they decided to see if they could carry uncompressed signals over the full distance. This would provide a more suitable solution as they’d be able to continue using their existing products without incurring the additional costs of extra training for workers and other expensive infrastructure investments.

The scalable solution features multiple four-channel SD-SDI/DVB-ASI time division de-multiplexers, 40-channel DWDM and numerous conversion modules. A browser-based graphical and SNMP monitoring system known as Multicon-GYDA offers comprehensive monitoring with remote firmware upgrades and customizable system overview for visual monitoring. A spare card set is also included for the most efficient main, secondary and third-level back-up.

“Zon has been one of the major users of Flashlink optical solutions over the last few years, and with their impressive optical network coverage they’re an example of a company that challenges technology to its maximum,” said Arne-Johan Martinsen, director of product marketing for the Flashlink product line. “We’re very proud to have met their requirements for this project and that our long-standing relationship has continued to grow from strength to strength.”


Upstar plays the key role in the satellite uplink of several TV channels for sub-Saharan Africa subscribers of the ZAP Pay-TV packages. The signals are acquired through satellite and fiber optic feeds, at Upstar's head-end, where cutting-edge equipment is used for reception, compression, encryption, modulation, uplink and monitoring.

About ZAP

ZAP is currently the fastest-growing pay-TV operator in Angola, focused on delivering the richest content, the broadest HD selection and the best image quality through its state-of-the-art HDTV decoders. ZAP's satellite footprint encompasses the sub-Saharan countries ranging from South Africa to as far north as Angola, Zambia and Tanzania, covering a Portuguese-speaking population of over 40 million. For more information, please visit

About Nevion

Moving beyond video transport to fully managed and controlled video services, Nevion manufactures award-winning systems for broadcasters, service providers and government agencies worldwide. Highly modular solutions encompass IP and optical transport, state-of-the-art compression and routing for any video format over any network infrastructure—within buildings or across continents. With the industry’s greenest and most scalable products, Nevion preserves quality while delivering video from content acquisition through distribution. By creating new service-offering opportunities or minimizing costs, Nevion enables its customers to move, manage and monetize video content. World headquarters in Sandefjord, Norway, with U.S. headquarters in Oxnard, California; Nevion also maintains offices in Oslo, Chicago, London, Dubai, Beijing and Singapore.