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Hearing the Holy See: This GE Technology is Helping Keep Vatican Radio on the Air

Last month, Pope Francis delivered his third Easter Sunday Mass to throngs of pilgrims spilling below his balcony across St. Peter’s Square. The square and the broad Via della Conciliazone leading to the Vatican can hold some 250,000 people, but his seasonal Urbi et Orbi address and blessing (meaning in Latin to the city – Rome – and to the world) reached a much bigger audience thanks to Vatican Radio.

The station, established in 1931, is the Holy See’s official radio service and “the voice of the Pope and the Church in dialogue with the world.” Its programming covering the Pope and official Vatican business reaches all continents except Antarctica. GE technology has been helping to keep it on the air.

Like any broadcaster, Vatican Radio needs secure, stable and even flow of electricity. To meet the station’s rising power demands, the Vatican plugged in GE’s “Uninterruptible Power Supply” (UPS) system, which can provide reliable back-up power during a brief outage.


Top and above: The broadcast tower and center of Vatican Radio. Image credit: Vatican Radio

“With the world eager to hear each and every word of the Pope, we couldn’t afford any interruptions in our broadcast,” says Sandro Piervenanzi, technical director of Vatican Radio. “GE’s UPS systems provided us with stable, filtered power to support critical technical operations.”

Some would say that the Vatican isn’t the only hallowed ground with a GE UPS system. GE technicians installed the technology at several soccer arenas in Brazil for the 2014 world soccer tournament.

Other places using it include data centers that serve airline systems and 911 call response centers, telecommunications systems, hospitals and even small businesses.

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