by Timo Brouwer, Vice President, Broadcast and Defense, RFS
With the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadcast television spectrum incentive auction process now defined, the challenges facing the North American Broadcasters to transition to new channels in the allotted timeframe are significant.
A substantial issue will be the capacity of the supply chain to meet the demand for new equipment to support the transition, especially in antennas. Slot radiator pylon antennas have been dominant in the North American market, either tower top or side mounted for years. A majority of the current installed base is of this type, with the balance being broadband panel-array type antennas.
RFS, a leading global manufacturer of passive RF systems, has recognized the need for a much higher demand for both types of antennas than US suppliers can meet and has invested heavily in preparation for the transition period, commencing in 2016. Using its global engineering and manufacturing capabilities (in Australia, US, UK, Germany, Shanghai and Brazil) RFS has increased engineering and production capabilities at the Meriden CT manufacturing facility to ensure it can meet the significant market demand.