With its 350 meters of height the Lotus Tower is the highest transmission structure in South Asia. The shape is inspired by the lotus flower, which in Sri Lankan culture symbolises purity: a thin, green stem with petals that change color thanks to a play of light. Under construction since 2012, it was opened on 16 September 2019 to ease a cost controversy ($ 104 million); the project was funded largely by the Chinese government within the scope of the Belt and Road project. The platform being 245 meters high, provides visitors with a panoramic view of the capital, Colombo.
Five floors of attractions and two of transmissions
The bud of the lotus flower conceals a seven-story structure: the first two host 35 FM radio stations, 50 TV stations broadcasting on DVB T2 and 20 telecommunication service providers. The other floors contain a museum, supermarkets, a revolving restaurant, banquet- & conference rooms and lastly a 1000-seat auditorium. The sixth floor is reserved for six exclusive suites.
Ransomware, a software that prevents the use of computers (by blocking them or encrypting files until you pay pirates a “ransom”), has paralysed the Cadena SER production system on November 4, 2019. To prevent risk of further infection, the computers connected to the network were turned off. However, since the Redacta platform (which assembles audio and text) could not be used, the journalists wrote the articles on sheets of paper or used word processing apps on their smartphones. Only after four days the 202 radio stations of the network were able to take up their work with their usual facilities again.
Services skipped, but no interruptions
Among the setbacks, the services on the MTV Awards, held in Seville the night before, were not broadcasted. On the other hand, radio hosts could provide a summary of an important electoral debate, by recording the audio from the TV (reduced quality). ‘El Confidential’ dedicated an extensive report on the emergency.
A restructuring plan “tears and blood” as announced by Deirdre Anne “Dee” Forbes, general director of the RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). Over the next three years, cost-cuttings of up to 60 million euros are planned, including the stop of digital channel broadcasting only on DAB: RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse, RTÉ Gold, RTÉjr Radio and RTÉ Radio 1 Extra. The RTE director also called for legislative action to reduce the evasion of the radio and television license fee (estimated at 11%, with a loss of revenue of around 20 million euros). In recent years RTÉ had already reduced costs by 30%.
If the public radio will free the channels, there is a commercial radio enterprise looking to acquire them: According to Kevin Branigan, Chief executive officer of Radio Nova, they are interested in expanding coverage nationally. The Dublin broadcaster has a team of 40 people and is the only station of the capital, authorised to broadcast the signal within a radius of about 50 km to cover the country and the commuter belt.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the Asian country’s media regulator, completed the switchover to digital terrestrial in October. In July, tests were carried out on the island of Langawki, in September it was the turn of the central and southern regions, followed by the northern and eastern regions mid-October while in Sabah and Sarawak the transition was completed on the 31st of October 2019.
15 TV and 6 Radio channels
On the myFreview Digital TV platform, 15 TV and six radio channels of Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), Media Prima, TV AlHijrah and Bernama News Channel (BNC) are available. Malaysia is the third Asian country to have completed the transition to digital TV, after Singapore and Brunei.