Leading mobile operators pushing next-generation broadcast service
At the TV Connect 2016 conference in London, four leading mobile network operators, representing North America, Australia, South Korea and the UK, announced the forming of the LTE-Broadcast Alliance. Verizon, Telstra, kt and EE together have more than 200 million mobile subscribers. The group’s primary goal is to encourage global support for LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) services from all device makers. This will be a decisive challenge for terrestrial radio and television broadcast providers including digital solutions for radio as DAB and HD Radio.
LTE-B, also known as evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS), enables a mobile operator to send a single stream of data to all mobile users in one area, as opposed to sending an individual stream to each user. Video is the main driver for traffic increases in mobile networks, and LTE-B can ensure a great customer experience, even in the areas of highest demand.
LTE-B has also the potential to:
- Be a vehicle for push notifications, such as over-the-air device updates, customer weather warnings, critical communications for public safety, enterprise group communication, or increasingly multimedia marketing messages
- Connect digital signage, allowing media agencies to dynamically change content for more targeted messages
- Become a service platform for IoT connectivity, communicating to billions of devices at the same time
- Contribute to value-added services on 5G networks, making the most of high bandwidth, low latency connectivity to multiple devices
In the UK, EE trialled LTE-B at the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, in partnership with the BBC, allowing HD broadcast of multiple camera angles and replays to mobile devices in the stadium. - In Australia, Telstra undertook the world’s first stadium broadcast using LTE-B in January 2014. Telstra demonstrated the technology again at the NRL Grand Final in October 2015, and has most recently showcased content pre-positioning with Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2016. - In South Korea, kt became the first operator in the world to launch a commercial LTE-B service in January 2014. The kt service covers seven baseball stadiums and major subway lines of Seoul and Busan.
In the U.S., Verizon is leading the way with commercially deployed LTE-B service across its nationwide 4G LTE network. Since 2012, Verizon has been dedicated to LTE-B, and in 2015 achieved commercial availability across our entire 4G LTE network. The LTE-B Alliance will help establish and expand the benefits of the service to other technology segments, increase device penetration, and unearth even more use cases for eMBMS, said Parissa Pandkhou, Director of Product Development at Verizon.
Owing to the popularity and adoption of smartphones and tablets, mobile subscriptions for high data consumption devices are expected to reach 6.5 billion by 2018 according to Ericsson Mobile data traffic is expected to grow 15 fold by the end of 2017, driven mainly by video. LTE Broadcast enables operators to efficiently launch media services over LTE to meet this demand.
LTE Broadcast on Mobile Broadband (Ericsson)