MOKA, Mauritius — Eurocom Broadcast has installed a total of nine studios for Mauritian national broadcaster, Mauritius Broadcasting Corp., at its headquarters in Moka, just south of the capital, Port Louis, and on Rodrigues Island (the smallest in the Mascarene archipelago) a few hundred kilometers east of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. After launching an international call for tenders, MBC selected Eurocom’s proposal, considering it the best price-quality ratio.
“The installation in Moka and Rodrigues mobilized six people from Eurocom on-site, building a set of nine studios plus the master control room, all AoIP with backup in AES,” said Arvind Lobind, technical manager of the MBC team. Five Eurocom technical team members integrated the studio equipment — Gary Hartard, Paul Chevré, Tévane Frey, Georges Cozonac and Morad Akagun, starting in the Moka building before moving on to Rodrigues Island. Jesus Vazquez, Eurocom’s commercial director, coordinated the operation.
MBC in Moka and Rodrigues
Located since 2011 on the Moka site, MBC Radio operates with 150 people, including around 30 radio technicians, mainly for recordings, routing and technical assistance. MBC operates two AM channels (Radio Maurice in French and Creole and Radio Mauritius in Hindustani and regional languages) and three FM channels — Kool FM, broadcasting in English, French and Creole; Best FM, a Bollywood music channel; and Taal FM, which broadcasts in Hindustani and regional languages. Each FM channel has three frequencies, comprising a total of nine FM and two AM frequencies.
MBC broadcasts in 13 languages, particularly French, English, Hindi and Creole during the morning shows from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Kool FM. English is the official language, but everyone uses French fluently. The national language is Creole, similar to that spoken in nearby Reunion. The Moka site radio broadcast infrastructure is made up of four open-space studios and three studios composed of control rooms and space for guests. In Rodrigues, MBC operates two studios for the FM service — the on-air studio and a backup studio, also used for recordings.
Installation by Eurocom
Eurocom installed the same equipment in all studios: mixing consoles and an XS3 IP router/audio processor from DHD. “We did the installation in partnership with WinMedia, whose automation solution MBC chose,” explained Lobind. “Eurocom configured and assembled the furniture for all the studios and control rooms, which arrived in parts,” he added. Lobind explained that the team staggered the installation. “We started by installing the MCR and dismantling the studios individually to install the new equipment gradually. Gary Hartard was the whole project manager, and Paul Chevré was the engineer who set up the configuration of the MCR and the DHD mixing consoles.”
The four self-operated studios each have four microphones, with space for the presenter and three guests. The largest studio, which can also be used for small concerts, has a set of seven microphones for the presenter and six guests.
Vazquez said that MBC set up the first Orban Optimod 5950 audio processors for its FM channel and the digital multiplex in August.
Eurocom also integrated the broadcaster’s new solution for managing telephone calls — NeoGroupe’s NeoSIP, with the help of CEO Philippe Halin, who spent almost two weeks in Moka. “NeoSIP greatly simplifies the management of inserts and telephone calls and sends text messages directly to the on-air studios,” explained Lobind. The new system is a software-only multiline, multistudio phone and codec system. It allows for the single-touch transfer of a radio’s phone lines to any studio and to embed codec communication for reporters in the same studio screen.
On the Rodrigues site, Eurocom equipped two studios and established a VPN connection between Mauritius and Rodrigues Island for data synchronization between servers. “Once the entire integration was finalized and before leaving the site, we checked that everything was working well on the air,” said Lobind. Eurocom also provided training in English and French for users, presenters and technicians and to support the internal MBC team so that everyone was comfortable operating the new equipment, particularly the DHD consoles.
Eurocom says that the complete renovation for MBC was an important experience for its expert team, proving its capacity for integrating radio studios with the latest radio industry products.
The author has worked in the radio industry for over 30 years. She has held posts as both a producer and presenter for French stations, such as Radio Notre Dame and Radio France’s France Culture. In addition to being involved with academic research and EU consulting in Brussels, she specializes in print.