Bakhresa business Azam Digital backs up broadcast tower power with NEC XON

15 Mar, 2022
Ally Yahya, NEC XON Key Account Executive in Tanzania

Azam Digital Broadcast is deploying NEC XON’s Hybrid Storage Solution (HSS) for regulated and uninterrupted power supply to its broadcast tower network throughout Tanzania.

“Broadcast is a competitive business,” says Ahmed H. Abdallah, CEO of Azam Digital Broadcast, “which means our service must be top-notch. We pride ourselves on a quality, affordable and uninterrupted service with strong infrastructure to support the transmitters and the services to back it up. That’s what we get from NEC XON.”

Azam Digital Broadcast is part of the Bakhresa Group, an industrial conglomerate from Tanzania with operations in 11 countries, including South Africa. It operates across the food and beverage, packaging, logistics, marine passenger services, petroleum, entertainment, and other sectors.

“The AzamTV brand is very popular in Tanzania, as it is elsewhere in Africa,” says Ally Yahya, NEC XON Key Account Executive in Tanzania. “The transmitters are crucial, sensitive equipment that have a huge impact on the services the brand delivers to its customers. Providing remote monitoring data improves the resilience of the network, alerts Azam’s engineers as soon as there is a potential problem, and enables remote, escalated backup and support from our own engineers in-country as well as at our central facility in South Africa. That has a significantly positive impact on overheads, total cost of ownership (TCO), and service delivery.”

Abdallah says a host of real-time data on generator fuel levels and other critical information provisions for close monitoring of the generators and on-site grid availability which moderates runtime and has knock-on effects such as lower fuel consumption, planned truck roll to sites that are difficult to reach, and cuts generator parts maintenance and replacement frequency.

Fast and linear charge characteristics, as well as the small footprint, were crucial advantages that led to Azam selecting NEC XON’s design from the competitive bid process.

“High cycle Li-Ion batteries also contribute to the high return on the investment and the significantly lower Opex,” says Yahya. “The high roundtrip efficiency of Li-Ion batteries ensures that no energy is wasted, which makes it the ideal solution for generator optimisations.”

The project, which initially experienced supply chain effects associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, is being deployed in three phases. The HSS units have been deployed at 11 of the more than 25 total tower locations. The second phase of seven sites begins with the third phase following once it is complete.

“We received a lot of support from the NEC XON management when COVID initially interrupted the supply chain,” says Abdallah. “COVID was an act beyond our control, but together we have created a strategy that is resulting in a smooth order and delivery process.”

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