Among the main tasks entrusted to ASBU Technical Committee, we can mention thestudy of systems, the recommendation of the most appropriate ones and the establishment of the monitoring and implementation mechanisms to that end. This takes place on several levels:
At the Arab level
Specify the systems' requirements in line with the needs of the member corporations.
At the international level
Cooperate with international broadcasting unions to identify common needs and requirements.
Encourage cooperation between broadcasters, manufacturers and international organizations, whereby the needs and requirements of broadcasters are presented and, at the same time, manufacturers introduce technological solutions for consultation with manufacturers or decision makers regarding organizational aspects.
It should be recalled that standardization and the selection of systems is the most important economic factor to prevent monopoly and open up competition to companies to provide the best quality service at cost-effective rates
ASBU is closely monitoring the use of the IP Protocol for audio and video streaming and the transmission of the time synchronization signal in radio and TV studios, now widely used by most manufacturers. Furthermore, it has become possible to interconnect this equipment and to connect it to computers and servers via Intranet, Ethernet and IT switches.
ASBU is also reviewing international experiences in Digital Audio Broadcasting systems, such as: DAB / DAB +,HD-Radio and DRM. ASBU also encourages the launching of experiences in the Arab region via DAB / DAB +
ASBU has also adopted and developed the DAB/DAB+ system specifications for radio receivers and is keen to update them and ensure the ASBU Profile is included.
Against this background, ASBU made a recommendation to the relevant authorities regarding the need for the fleet of vehicles in the Arab region to be equipped with digital radio receivers according to the approved specifications.
Technical seminars on digital audio and video
As part of its annual engineering events, ASBU holds the meetings of the working groups which bring together experts from the Arab world. It also organizes engineering seminars and a Technology Week in cooperation with EBU on trends in the operation and dissemination of digital broadcasting systems adopted by ASBU in the Arab region.
Many topics were the focus of the 2018 Technology Week as described in the link (the link opens the Excel file attached). All text resources, presentations and visuals are available to registered members at (Here). The link opens an interface to enter a user name and a password to access the cooperative workspace dedicated to the engineering workgroups where all the documents available can be accessed, including texts, videos and files in different formats)
A seminar on terrestrial radio and television broadcasting:
The seminar covered the following topics:
- The experiences of international broadcasting organizations
- A mechanism to provide receivers and listening devices to the users
- The most appropriate mechanism to introduce this technology
- Planning terrestrial networks
- Financial returns and advertising
Seminar on jamming and satellite interference
- The Engineering seminar organized by ASBU in cooperation with Arabsat to scope out the issues of jamming and satellite interference and to look for possible solutions, adopted a clear course of action to address these phenomena in the Arab region. Besides the technical, legislative and political aspects, the action plan identifies the tasks entrusted to all concerned parties in the region, including radio operators, satellite service providers, equipment manufacturers and bodies responsible for training, testing and certification in respect of the operation of mobile/ fixed stations. It also calls upon the international actors specialized in the field to play an active role, each within their respective fields of specialization, in coordination with ASBU, with a view to reducing jamming and satellite interference in the region.
- In the light of this plan, which was endorsed by the General Assembly, the Engineering Committee adopted the following measures.
- Applying CID identification in the Arab region in cooperation with Arabsat and the satellite operators in the region.
- Two training sessions on reducing jamming and satellite interference were conducted in Amman-Jordan in the first week of May 2014 in cooperation with ArabSat and in Tunis (mid-December 2014). In addition, several training sessions using the software dedicated to Global VSAT Forum (GVF) online were organized.
- The ASBU action plan was adopted as an international framework for resolving jamming and satellite interference issues by WBU, ISOG, satellite companies, most notably Arabsat, Eutelsat, Intelsat and SES Astra, as well as by the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) and the Satellite Interference Reduction Group (SIRG)).
- The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) already submitted this plan to its study groups for review before appropriate implementation mechanisms could be designed. The plan was also communicated to the Media Department of the League of Arab States to be submitted to the Council of Arab Ministers of Information.
Providing council services to member corporations
Leveraging its resources and its expertise in the field of engineering, ASBU provides engineering council services to all members, including those members who plan to implement new projects. Through the meetings of its engineering committees, it also provides the opportunity to study and review the projects that have been completed by the corporations to find out about the achievements as well as the implementation and operating challenges. ASBU also studies provisions of the contracts concluded with providers from among manufacturers and system integration companies with a focus on potential complexities and seeks to circulate reports and minutes of meetings of engineering meetings to all members so that they can benefit from experiences in the implementation of projects.
As part of its strategic thinking, ASBU supports member corporations in getting quick and comprehensive insights into new technological trends and in taking appropriate decisions. In this context, the Executive Council established an advisory engineering working group whose members are mainly experts from member corporations and international specialists. The working group should help ASBU to follow up on and implement the following actions:
- Keep abreast of new technological trends by ASBU's executive body in a continuous and effective manner in behalf of the member corporations.
- Provide consulting services, including studies and the preparation of plans in the relevant fields on behalf of the member corporations at preferential rates. These services are also offered to non-members at competitive rates. ASBU may leverage Arab expertise mainly as well as international expertise in delivering these services.
- Organize engineering seminars, forums and workshops on advanced technological topics to benefit member corporations at preferential rates. The same services are also delivered to non-members at competitive prices. ASBU may leverage the relevant Arab and international expertise that can help in the accomplishment of these actions.
- Study pilot projects for the benefit of a corporation or a group of member corporations through the use of ASBU's experience in the development and implementation of successful projects (e.g., digitization of exchanges, radio exchange standardization system, MENOS, the Unified Arabic Bouquet, etc.)
Reduce the expenses in relation to these projects, providing members with cost-effective professional services.
- Define the consumer devices’ technical specifications and standards for the broadcasting services and communicate with the bodies involved in the introduction of the new services that affect the member corporations and the public (for example, telecommunications departments, government bodies in charge of specifications, international and local manufacturers and commercial companies in the Arab region).
To implement these actions, ASBUadopted the following mechanisms:
- The engineering committees and groups propose a list of studies, projects and seminars to be implemented based on the needs of the member corporations.
- The Directorate-General submits a periodic survey on the needs and views of the member corporations.
- The Directorate-General proposes projects and studies to help the member corporations develop their business.
- Entrust Arab and / or international experts or engineering task forces under the auspices of the engineering committee with carrying out studies or projects with clear benchmarks and objectives. The studies or projects shall include recommendations and suggestions on how outcomes can benefit the member corporations.