Italian newsgathering group builds citywide wireless network to cover Rome

H24 Live, a newsgathering and facilities provider in Rome, has created a wireless digital ENG network throughout the Italian capital.

The network, which uses Nucomm’s DR2 diversity receiver and CamPac2 HD/SD COFDM microwave transmitters, covers the entire city, which is divided into 14 wireless coverage areas. Each has its own radio base station, which receives and speaks with the DENG unit in the field, said H24 production manager Laura Guglielmetti.

This approach lets H24 Live cover the large urban area, including Rome’s airports, from specially modified scooters equipped with CamPac2 transmitters. “The scooters allow us to navigate around all of the city’s traffic and narrow streets quickly and without delay. The reaction times are minimal, with the opportunity to completely follow events with wireless coverage, which is fantastic," Guglielmetti said.

With experience in professional newsgathering dating back to 1991, H24 Live provides content and facilities to national and international media companies throughout the country. Headquartered in Rome and networked to 15 local bureaus in Italy, H24 Live offers a combination of journalism and state-of-the-art facilities to professional national broadcasters.

The CamPac2 and Newscaster DR2 network in Rome is helping H24 Live fulfil that mission. The gear is designed to handle the rigors of everyday outdoor use in a variety of conditions, as evident by the recent earthquake in L’Aquila Valley. The wireless network and compact mobility allowed H24 Live to be one of the first news media on scene transmitting live pictures from the devastation.

According to H24 Live research and development manager Emanuele Pascucci, reliability — especially under extreme circumstances, such as those experienced covering the quake — is critical to the success of the network and guided the company in selecting the Nucomm equipment.

During quake coverage, there was a lot of dust and dirt in the air, but the gear performed well, and its intuitive interface made transmitting easy despite the severe conditions, Pascucci said. Even in extreme weather situations, such as rain or high and low temperatures, the CamPac2 transmitters have delivered reliable performance, he said.

The Rome network has been such a success that H24 Live plans to expand. Next up will be network coverage in Milan. That system, too, will rely on Nucomm RF equipment, Pascucci said.