Tuesday 21 May 2019

BBC Extending 5G Radio Broadcast Trial in Scotland

Listeners very satisfied with range of stations and reception quality.
The BBC’s ground-breaking 5G broadcast radio trial in the rural community Stronsay, Orkney, has been extended until the end of September 2019. The trial began in February this year with residents in Stronsay becoming some of the first people in the world to receive live radio broadcasts over 5G mobile networks.

The trial has proven extremely popular with participants, with initial independent research finding that 90% were satisfied with the mobile internet service, 100% were satisfied with the range of stations provided by the radio signal, and more than 50% were satisfied with the quality of reception.

Continued trial allows the BBC and its partners to further optimise the technical parameters of the radio signal and to collect more technical data to help understand live 5G broadcasting in greater detail.

Kieran Clifton, Director of Distribution and Business Development, BBC, says: We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from those taking part in our 5G broadcast trial, and how much they value being part of it, so we’re delighted to be able to extend it until later this year. It’s also been a success from an engineering perspective, with high levels of quality and consistency in the experimental service.

The BBC has been leading the work to trial broadcasting over 5G as a potential new way of delivering its radio services, especially in rural areas. The island of Stronsay, Orkney, was identified as an ideal location for the 5G Broadcast radio trial, in part because of its limited existing fixed and mobile broadband connectivity and poor digital radio coverage. The trial is delivering 13 BBC radio stations through a modified version of the BBC Sounds app, including BBC Radio Orkney, as well as mobile broadband access.

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