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Infra-Com and ETL Systems Rejuvenate Swisscom’s Network

“We have already used ETL products in many projects with great success. ETL always works closely with us, pays great attention to the quality of its products, and is able to customise its so-lutions for varying customer requirements. This project was another great example of its commitment to providing exactly what the customer needs.”
Roland Gut, Managing Director for Infra-Com

The Situation

Swisscom is Switzerland’s leading telecom company and as well one of its major IT companies. It delivers customers across Switzerland with an extensive range of digital TV, mobile telecommunications, and other services. It also provides businesses with network, cloud and ICT services.

Swisscom relies on satellite for some of this connectivity, as well as backup to other connection methods. Therefore, it has a growing satellite network that has been gradually increasing over recent years. This steady growth presented Swisscom with a challenge in the form of varying formats, signals and performances from different networks. 

Swisscom

The Task

Swisscom turned to Systems Integrator, Infra-Com Swiss AG, due to its expertise planning and implementing communication networks, that have to operate smoothly 24/7. It is proficient in network engineering, planning and maintenance for any number of network types for delivery of internet, TV, radio and other data signals.

Infra-Com was assigned with standardising the satellite headend. It was crucial to ensure that the same, high-quality and reliable equipment was used throughout the entire satellite network, so Swisscom could rely on standardised, good quality, performance, regardless of the antenna being used.

The next stage was to come up with a solution proposal and conception for Swisscom’s varied requirements. Having worked with ETL on numerous projects, Infra-Com approached the team to discuss and scope out products that would fulfil the requirements.

The Design

The project involved Infra-Com and ETL Systems going through detailed planning together, constructing schematics and evaluating material to be used. 

ETL was asked to provide active splitters to split the signal so it can be used for more than one device. Normally splitters have unity gain, i.e. the same signal level on output as on input. However, Infra-Com was challenged with low input so needed to increase the gain for the output. Therefore ETL Systems designed and produced two new splitter models, a 4-way and an 8-way. These splitters have all the same features of its counterparts, as well as gain to amplify the signal levels.

Both splitters come with integrated LNB powering, something that was important for Swisscom, meaning it could easily and efficiently power the low-noise block downconverters on the antennas without the need for a separate external device.

Infra-Com also tasked ETL with providing slope equalisers for this project. This meant Swisscom could compensate the gain variation.  

Roland Gut, Managing Director, Infra-Com, commented: “We have already used ETL products in many projects with great success. ETL always works closely with us, pays great attention to the quality of its products, and is able to customise its solutions for varying customer requirements. This project was another great example of its commitment to providing exactly what the customer needs.”

ETL Systems RF Components

The Result

Once the products were designed and selected, Infra-Com worked on the installation of the RF equipment into the network. This was followed by extensive testing and quality assurance to be certain that everything was working as it should be.

Dominic Overton, Components Sales Manager, ETL Systems, commented: “We have worked with Infra-Com on numerous occasions. The team’s extensive understanding of satellite networks and our products means we know that our products will be well-integrated and extensively tested before the network goes live, ensuring the best quality for the end user.”

Wolfgang von Arx, ICT Architect, Swisscom, added: “Having a standardised satellite network has made a huge impact on the manageability of that network, as well as to the consistency of quality throughout the network Infra-Com did a fantastic job of planning and executing the project and we are really pleased with the quality of the ETL products.”

ETL Rack Layout