Sunday 3 March 2019

While 5G Launches Globally Interest for DAB Radio Fades.

(Pic: EBU)
Demands in Austria for radio and TV to be received via 5G without a SIM card.
At the mobile telecom conference in Barcelona 5G was the focus. It is now announced that the radio industry in Austria wants 5G to replace terrestrial digital TV broadcasts (DVB-T2 HD). The public service company ORF and its subsidiary broadcast provider ORS as well as private broadcasters now require space for a 5G broadcasting network on the UHF band 470-700 megahertz, which should continue to be reserved for radio and television, according to the "Standard" newspaper. Meanwhile, terrestrial DAB radio will be abandoned by ORF.

The broadcasting industry requires that access to 5G LTE Broadcast should be possible via smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and TVs without SIM cards and agreements with telephone operators. ORF goes one step further. The public service company intends to broadcast radio, in addition to television via the next generation of mobile communications, thus skipping the digital system for terrestrial radio, DAB+.

Der ORF geht noch einen Schritt weiter. Er will neben Fernsehen auch Hörfunk über die nächste Mobilfunkgeneration im Broadcast-Modus ausstrahlen und den aktuellen digital-terrestrischen Standard DAB+ dabei überspringen.

There are many indications now that both digital terrestrial radio and television broadcasts will be replaced by broadcasts via fixed and mobile broadband networks in many countries. In both Switzerland and Belgium, public service companies are already scrapping broadcasts via terrestrial TV (DVB-T2) this year. In Sweden, less than one-fifth of households now receive television via Teracom's terrestrial network.

The first step after the 5G networks are being built up and put into service already this year is to market 5G smartphones. In the United States and South Korea 5G enabled phones are on the market. For example, Verizon and three Korean operators will start selling Samsung's S10 5G sometime this spring, and Sprint will offer LG's V50 when it launches its 5G network in May. Chinese ZTE, Xiaomi and Huawei have also released 5G phones this week.

According to forecasts by Ericsson, there will be 1.5 billion smartphones with 5G worldwide 2024.

There are many reasons why 5G networks will kill all aspirations for future DAB broadcasting in most countries. 4G LTE Mobile networks are already established and 5G will be there for hundreds of different applications besides audio and video distribution. An important factor here is the Connect Car infotainment systems (as Apple Play and Google).

Investing in new stand-alone radio broadcast networks besides present AM and FM broadcast networks will be too expensive in any country.  Also online radio distribution will offer possibilities of a much higher sound quality and a superior content diversity compared with DAB+. 

Read also
Barcelona Launches the 5G World
Österreich: ORF, ORS und Privatsender fordern 5G Broadcasting ohne SIM-Karte für Radio und TV
Starting 700 MHz Mobile Broadband in Sweden
BBC reveals details of 5G broadcast radio trial

5G Public Broadcasting Is On Trial in Six European Countries
High Power 5G Radio Test in Germany