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Training course strengthens ABU-ASBU links

A week-long training course in Tunisia helped to strengthen ties between the ABU and the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU).

Thirteen broadcast and IT engineers attended the IPTV and Networking technologies course at the ASBU headquarters in Tunis from 3-10 December 2014.

This is the second training conducted by ABU Technology Director Dr Amal Punchihewa as a follow-up to the first course on the same topic in Damascus, Syria, in 2010.  In 2012, Dr Punchihewa conducted a Digital Television Broadcasting course for the ASBU in Tunis.

The thirteen were from broadcast and Information Technology areas of broadcasters in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Kuwait, Algeria, Yemen and Tunisia.  They examined the use of IP in broadcasting value chains, including contributions, distribution and delivery, as well as over-the-top (OTT) and integrated broadcast broadband technologies and services.

The Head of the Production and Operation Department of the ASBU, Ms Ines Jebali Gdoura said that Arab State broadcasters had decided on HbbTV as the IBB technology standard for the ASBU and MENA region, though it was up to the individual broadcaster to commence such services at appropriate times.

Dr Adnan Salhab, Head of Training and Director of Engineering, ASBU-Damascus Training Centre, thanked Dr Punchihewa for his continued support in capacity building in rapidly evolving digital media. Mr Bassil Zoubi, Head of Transmission, Technical Department, ASBU said that the ASBU was experimenting with IP contribution arrangements to complement its satellite contribution network MENOS.

Dr Punchihewa said the ABU would work closely with the ASBU to share experiences and to assist capacity building in ICT areas. An ABU-ASBU Technology week event similar to those between the ASBU and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will be explored in 2015, in addition to working on strong representations to be made to the WRC-15 meeting of the ITU on spectrum requirements for future broadcasting.