Broadcasters from Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Austria signed a joint declaration of intent on 5G Broadcast.
5G Broadcast describes an extension of the 5G standard to transmit linear radio and TV programs. A joint European roadmap defines the further milestones for a possible introduction of 5G broadcast-based services as a supplement to existing DVB-T installations. 5G Broadcast has been ready for the commercial market launch since the beginning of 2023: standardization is largely complete, leading broadcasting companies in Europe have been testing ideas and concepts for several years — and the first smartphone prototypes are already available.
The goal is to work together on activities to further define broadcast services and opportunities and their validate business models. Bayrische Rundfunk, France Télévisions, NPO, ORF/ORS, RTÉ, RAI, SWR have signed and are now jointly setting the pace.
Numerous jointly developed 5G broadcast applications and commercial use cases will be presented in 2024 for the Summer Olympics in Paris and the European Football Championship in Germany.
The aim is to enable a European 5G broadcast ecosystem for public service media, cultural event organisers, creative people and providers of audiovisual content, to reach mobile devices via direct reception and to make 5G broadcast market-ready. This future-proof development also enables new use cases and business models such as car entertainment systems, emergency warning and information services or applications for the metaverse, says Michael Wagenhofer, Managing Director of the Austrian ORS Group.
The technology provides easy and democratically important access to audiovisual content, the signatories explain. It also enables network operators and media content providers to deliver content and data to a large number of consumers in a crisis-proof manner without affecting the 5G mobile network, for example during live events. 5G broadcast-based services will complement existing DTT deployments, i.e. transmissions for digital terrestrial television, and further develop terrestrial networks for an IP-driven future.
The basis for interference-free broadcasting is the UHF frequency spectrum 470-694 MHz, which has been tried and tested throughout Europe and which, in addition to broadcasting, is used exclusively for live productions by cultural institutions with wireless production technology.