One of the larger organisations that has been involved in the MediaSpace project is the Focolare Movement, having eleven user sites deployed at present.
The Focolare Movement is a worldwide, non-profit association spanning 182 countries. About four million people, representing a great variety of racial, religious, cultural, social and professional backgrounds, adhere to the goals of the Focolare and are committed to bringing about a more united world.
Focolare Movement on the pilot phase of MediaSpace
"Our organisation began using MediaSpace with great enthusiasm for the end results and services it offers. Our general impression is extremely positive and naturally our intentions are to continue using MediaSpace and increase the number of sites involved in the project." Cesare Borin, Director, New Media Office, Focolare Movement.
An example of the success of the MediaSpace project for Focolare was shown at a live event in Castelgandolfo, Rome in September 2003. The event was filmed live (in real-time) at Castelgandolfo, uplinked by DVB to the satellite using a mobile station on site, and then was finally received by the ESRIN MediaSpace service platform. The signal was then processed by the MediaSpace service platform, encoded in MPEG4, converted in IP and uplinked in DVB/ IP. The DVB/ IP signal was then split so that it could be sent to two different satellites, the first covering Europe and the second North and South America, it was then received by Focolares' sites around the world, which were installed with the Alcatel Space A9722 satellite router receiver.
The live viewing figures from this event were as follows:
- Brazil, S.Paolo: 300 people
- Holland: 50 people
- Italy, Florence: 300 people
- Switzerland, Montet: 200 people
- USA, New York: 50 people
- Venezuela, Caracas: 53 people
The event was also simultaneously recorded and stored on the MediaSpace service platform, so that it could be streamed off-line (after the event) to their African partners, in Douala and Fontem, via satellite.
Nowadays, Focolare periodically performs this type of event.
Following this series of events involving Focolare centers throughout the world, more than 100 additional Focolare sites have requested to become users of the MediaSpace project. Subsequently a huge deployment operation is foreseen in the next few months.
Inline with Focolare's involvement, Sant'Egidio have also joined the MediaSpace project and we are presently deploying equipment and services to nine sites in Europe; in Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Hungary.
The MediaSpace project started in November 2001, and this first step has been devoted to the study of user requirements, the consolidation of the system architecture, particularly with regards to the application and service layers, business strategy and switching to the operational phase. The result of which has led to the creation of the MediaSpace Alliance.
MediaSpace relies on an Alliance of European complementary partners - satellite and terrestrial operators, industrial, application/ product/ service/ business providers and ICT specialists - to build customised telecommunication solutions specifically designed for the institutional and non-profit markets needs and requirements, ensuring that its users benefit from best practice and up-to-date technologies. These firms have entered into this Alliance to foster the necessary synergy in order to provide a better unified and adapted answer to the User Communities' requirements and needs.
The MediaSpace Alliance Members have undersigned a Memorandum of Understanding, in order to establish and animate this strong cooperative relationship and to regularly meet in the frame of the MediaSpace Alliance Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee's role is, among other tasks, to precisely define the exploitation, development and promotion of the use of satellites for large bandwidth multimedia services and European technological solutions for international organisations, with respect towards deontological and ethical guidelines, as further detailed in the MediaSpace Charter.
The MediaSpace Alliance is composed of the following partners: