TOTEM, the industrial TowerCo in Europe | Interview with Elise Laven, Wave Radio - TOTEM, the industrial TowerCo in Europe

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Interview with Elise Laven, Wave Radio

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The TOTEM Key electronic key saves us time and, most importantly, keeps our equipment safe. That’s something we really appreciate.

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Elise Laven Radio Host for Wave Radio

Could you tell us a bit about Wave Radio and how it works?

Wave Radio is a French radio station broadcasting from Hossegor and belonging to the Starcom non-profit organization. Emerging community radio stations require specific broadcasting authorizations: initially the CSA, which later became Arcom, authorized us to broadcast only from April 1 to October 30.

In April 2020, we received authorization to broadcast year-round, which allowed us to apply for a grant from the French Ministry of Culture and led us to reorganize our teams.

At Wave Radio, we set out to create the kind of radio we’d want to listen to ourselves. We play music 24/7, with over 5,000 tracks in rotation, whereas most radio stations have between 250 and 500 tracks. We also try to break away from all the rules of national radio. For example, we run very few advertisements, and carefully select advertisers to make sure they share our values. We have also decided not to broadcast news bulletins, which are available on all other media. We speak out exclusively on subjects that inspire us, that we like, on a variety of themes: music, culture, the environment, sports…


Do you broadcast only in the Hossegor area or do you have a wider reach?

The frequency is awarded by Arcom. We broadcast from Hossegor and we cover the whole of the south of the Landes region. It’s a very complicated region for radio signals because there are a lot of tall pine trees and the area is very hilly; these are two factors that we know limit the propagation of waves. But we know that people in other regions listen to us as well, online or through applications. Our listeners discover us here, when they’re on the move or on vacation, and then continue to listen to us from web platforms. We even have listeners in the USA and Australia.



Can you tell us more about the equipment you’ve hosted with TOTEM?

We have equipment on a TOTEM site near the Hossegor golf course. Initially, we hosted our equipment on a water tower owned by the water company and the town. But when we got the permission to broadcast year-round in 2020, we wanted to move our equipment to a site further south in relation to the azimuth that Arcom had assigned us, and we were looking for a higher site. We discovered the tower we’re now on and immediately thought it would be the perfect location. But we knew it was a cell phone tower, so we didn’t expect to be able to host our equipment on this type of infrastructure.


What is the most important thing that TOTEM offers you?

For me, the most important thing is access to the site. Other than scheduled annual maintenance, we only need to work on site if there is a breakdown. So we have to be responsive to ensure continuity of service. As I said, the radio broadcasts 24/7.  The TOTEM Key electronic key saves us time and, most importantly, keeps our equipment safe. That’s something we really appreciate.


You inherited your relationship with TOTEM from Orange. What has changed for you since you started with TOTEM?

I found out that the company had been taken over by TOTEM when we replaced our electronic access key to the site.

I had always had a good relationship with the person who was in charge of our account when it was managed by Orange. Today, the relationship is still very good because our account manager is very pleasant and a good listener.

The entire TOTEM team has been accommodating regarding our non-profit status and all that that entails. TOTEM considered our different financing structure and came up with a tailored offer. And I think it’s great that private players and non-profits can work together on shared infrastructure.





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