Educational Media Foundation (EMF) has deployed GeoBroadcast Solutions’ (GBS) MaxxCasting system for its Chicago “Air1” affiliate WAWE (94.3). This follows EMF utilizing the system for WKVB Westborough, MA (107.3), which is a “K-Love” outlet.

The MaxxCasting single-frequency network (SFN) combines radio and cellular technology. It enables FM broadcasters to use low-power transmission sites, or “nodes,” to enhance their 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.

“WAWE’s biggest challenge has been the areas where its signal wasn’t covering well, particularly between the Loop and O’Hare,” EMF Senior Broadcast Engineer Shane Toven said in a release. “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.”

The recently deployed signal enhancement improves the reach of WAWE into the lower west side of Chicago in an area described as problematic for its broadcast signal, where the city’s three major expressways converge. GBS says WAWE now reaches the University of Chicago, Rush Medical Center, and the historic Pilsen 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,” Vern Egli, Director of Infrastructure Deployment at GeoBroadcast Solutions added. “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.”