Nova puts faith in Vodafone in stunt to prove network reliability

Nova will switch off the link between its studios and transmitters and allow its drive show to be sent through the Vodafone mobile network as part of a marketing stunt no broadcaster would have contemplated five years ago.

Vodafone NovaThe stunt, which will run for six weeks, will see Vodafone carry the Nova signal between the broadcast booth and the transmitter with Nova switching off the optical cable that normally carries the signal.

Vodafone is running the demonstration just as Telstra struggles to come to terms with a series of network failures that has seen mobile and broadband customers suffering major losses of service.

The radio network will transmit its broadcast through modems fitted with standard Vodafone 4G sim cards, looping the signal out over the telco’s network before it is then sent out on FM airwaves nationally.

Loo Fun Chee, Vodafone’s chief marketing officer, said that the station would be totally reliant on the 4G network and it would be a compelling demonstration of the billions of dollars Vodafone has invested improving its services.

She said the network was faced with the challenge of demonstrating how reliable it now without customers having to sign up.

“One of the key drivers for all telcos is actually the network. So customers tell us a key driver of wether I choose you as a telco or I promote you as a telco is because of the network,” Chee said.

“One of the hardest perceptions to change is what customers think about network claims.”

After investing billions of dollars in the wake of its Vodafail catastrophe Vodafone has seen the quality of its network improve by more than  by more 40% based on mobile benchmarking reports and will use the Nova demonstration to show consumers that improvement.

Redundancy has been built in in case of failure, also relying on Vodafone’s network, although it is understood Nova has a further back up measure in place.

The stunt supports Vodafone’s latest campaign which focused on the experience its customers are now getting.

“This whole campaign is actually about Vodafone putting out money where our mouth is,” Chee said.

“It’s demonstrating how reliable the network is.”

While the campaign appears to be timed to take advantage of Telstra’s recent failures, Chee said the telco had been working with Nova for more than two months to make sure it goes off without a hitch.

Kate tim and marty

Nova’s drive team Kate Ritchie, Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold

As part of the campaign the nationally broadcast drive team of Kate, Tim & Marty will broadcast once a week from a bus travelling to each capital city, again with the show reliant on the Vodafone network.

She said that it was also important that Vodafone could demonstrate the capability on a national platform.

“This is a proof point. Nova would not put at risk their entire programming,” said Chee.

“It’s a huge vote of confidence in the Vodafone 4G network that Australia’s most listened to drive show is trusting us with its broadcast.”

Nova’s group sales director, Peter Charlton, said that the station was confident that Vodafone would be able to keep the show on air without interruption throughout the six weeks.

“The technical side of broadcasting is a serious business and our audience expect the same reliability of the Nova Network as they do of their mobile network,” Charlton said.

“This partnership is absolutely a statement of our confidence and trust in the reliability of the Vodafone 4G network, as well as in our own technical and execution credentials.

“As you would expect of any media partner, we have been doing relevant testing and preparing for this demonstration for some time and all testing has been positive.  We believe we can trust the Vodafone 4G network and after this campaign, our audience will too.”


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