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GBS MaxxCasting Improves EMF's WAWE Chicago Coverage


Educational Media Foundation's WAWE-FM (94.3), serving the greater Chicago area out of Oakbrook Terrace, IL, has significantly improved its signal reach after deploying GeoBroadcast Solutions' MaxxCasting system. The system has improved the reach into the lower west side of Chicago in an area quite problematic for its broadcast signal at the convergence of the city's three major expressways.

The signal improvement was implemented through a four-node network using the MaxxCasting system. The coverage now reaches the University of Chicago, Rush Medical Center and the historic Pilsen community. WAWE operates as part of the Air1 Radio Network.

"WAWE's biggest challenge has been the areas where its signal wasn't covering well, particularly between the Loop and O'Hare" said EMF Senior Broadcast Engineer Shane Tovend. "GBS designed the WAWE system for the Chicago market, and after some successful tests, we worked with GBS to launch a similar system in Boston at our station WKVB, including HD Radio subcarriers. After licensing that system, GBS helped us finish up the WAWE nodes to significantly improve our coverage in the Chicago market and reach deeper into the community. We are quite pleased with the outcome and the feedback has been positive."

With the MaxxCasting nodes in place, the system can now be used to diplex similarly located stations to improve signal coverage in the community.

"The convergence at the expressway interchange notoriously has had poor reception, due to the concentration of broadcast signals emanating from Chicago's large towers and the amount of daily automotive traffic," said GeoBroadcast Solutions Director of Infrastructure Deployment Vern Egli. "Our solution for WAWE opens the door to other stations that want to improve their signals and increase their listeners through the existing MaxxCasting facilities."

MaxxCasting combines radio and cellular technology and enables FM Broadcasters to use nodes to enhance signals by reducing interference between the main and booster transmissions through the use of a cluster of low-to-the-ground, high power, highly directionalized, synchronized node sites.

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