When you watched Eddie Redmayne win an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, you probably didn’t give much thought to the signal used to broadcast the awards show from Los Angeles.
But imagine if that signal had been interrupted just before Eddie launched into his gracious acceptance speech. You would have certainly noticed the signal then. Enter Aldea Solutions INC., a leading provider of services and solutions for the television, film and media industries.
It’s their job to make sure that precious signal never gets disrupted. “It’s not like a telephone signal where if you get cut off, you can just call back” says Lionel Bentolila, CEO of Aldea “With a television broadcast, if that signal is interrupted for a millisecond, your screen turns blue, green, black… and you can miss that big goal, or that dramatic historical moment.”
In the beginning
The idea for Aldea began 14 years ago in Montreal, “Previously, television signals were beamed via satellite, which is still often the case today. We wanted to create a network to carry those signals on a global scale. We wanted to be able to take a signal that originated in Buenos Aires and bring it to Los Angeles…or Madrid to Sao Paulo…or from Canada to Miami.”
Aldea offers fully managed transmission services using its fiber optic technology. This form of communication is more secure than satellite, because the signal is carried through cables, and is therefore not subject to the elements.
The company’s services are used by leading major broadcasters and media companies around the world. “What we’ve done over these past years is build the business one customer at a time, one city at a time, one transmission and one event at a time,” says Bentolia. “Now we’re present in 28 cities and 15 countries around the world.”
How Aldea makes it work
Aldea rents fiber-optic capacity from large telecom providers that have existing networks in place. They use their own hubs to connect various major cities and transmit signals to their customers.
A team of Aldea engineers provides technical support, and they also work with tech partners in countries where they have large operations like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico.
Big customers – Big events
FOX, ESPN and DIRECT TV all employ the services of Aldea Solutions “We do a lot of sports” says Bentolia, “World Cup in Rio…even Euro League soccer matches in Europe can be broadcast around the world to whomever bought the rights.”
And, the stakes can be high, “When you transmit the World Cup, for example, you better have a strong, uninterrupted feed; otherwise you might have a riot on your hands.”
Keeping up with technical advances is constantly at the top of Aldea’s priority list. “Tech changes all the time so you must keep up…we have a very good engineering team and we like to think that if Aldea can’t do it, nobody can…”
“We’re focused and customer-oriented and take nothing for granted.” Bentolia says about the company’s success: “We always go the extra mile, and we have strong corporate values that are reflected in the work we do, and keep customers coming back.”
EDC Financing propels Aldea’s growth
Aldea was looking for additional funding to expand its operations and invest in technology. “This means capital investments,” adds Bentolia “A single tech kit is valued at over one hundred thousand dollars. Banks will lend money if that capital investment equipment remains in Canada, but with 97% clients outside of Canada, we needed help securing financing with the bank. That’s where EDC came in. Without EDC we could not have grown as much as we have.”
This financing will help Aldea’s innovative video transmission services to continue being used for international major events like the Academy Awards, FIFA World Cup, Pan American Games and the Olympic Games.