Kaknäs – The one stop shop

When Olof Palme opened the Kaknäs Tower in 1967, the building was dimensioned for a single, analogue, black and white channel. Today, Kaknäs is a one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to transmit TV and offer their programmes in Sweden or the Nordic region

More than 600 channels share the tower, and there is room for several thousand more channels.

At the same time, the tower itself is still as large as when it was opened. How does everything fit? We asked Marie Serenius, Product Manager for Media Gateway and Media Transport at Teracom.

How do you fit so many channels?

“It’s a question of the size of the equipment. We change it regularly, for example, the parts that code all the new formats. More and more customers are also choosing to co-locate their equipment at Kaknäs  to simplify their own operations. But since the components are becoming smaller and smaller, we have never had to expand or look around for a larger building.”

What do you actually do in Kaknäs?

“This is where we receive and manage all signals. Several of our customers transmit their programmes there via fibre, and others via satellite. We receive the signals, decode them and recode them again to adapt them to the terrestrial network or other platforms for further distribution of channels by customers, via Media Gateway.”

Why are all the antennas on the ground instead of at the top of the tower?

“The antennas on the ground are for satellite links.  No radio and TV signals are transmitted directly to listeners/viewers from Kaknäs. This occurs from the Nacka masts for the Stockholm area. The signals are transmitted to Nacka via both fibre and radio link and via our fibre network to the rest of the country and sometimes further on by radio link.

So Kaknäs would actually not have to be a tower in order to function as a media hub?

“No, not really. But a mast would have been necessary for radio link, for example. Today, the tower is also a popular part of the Stockholm skyline.

With less than two years remaining until Kaknäs Tower’s 50th anniversary, it has become an important media hub for industry meetings and increasingly popular to connect or move in to.

At a glance Kaknäs Tower

  • Construction commenced in 1963
  • Opened in 1967
  • Height: 155 metres
  • 170 including mast
  • Floors: 34
  • Lifts: Two high-speed (18 km/h)
  • Weight: 10,600 tons
  • Number of channels past 600

Did you know that....

 .... the windows in the Kaknäs Tower are coated with a thin layer of gold, which reflects 75 per cent of the solar radiation?

The Tower was built to resist wind gales of up to 40 m/s on the ground and 50 m/s at the top of the tower.