Telstra and Verizon are preparing to test a new broadcast TV system developed by Ericsson that operates over LTE networks.
The approach is about as close to the traditional terrestrial broadcast model as you can get on LTE. Ericsson is making use of a recently developed branch of LTE technology that allows network operators to create a single frequency network. This SFN can be created using not only the operator’s entire network of cells, but also any subset of cells.
That ability allows the operator to shape its broadcast coverage area, covering either its entire footprint, or isolating a specific town, neighborhood, or even a specific venue – a stadium, for example.
Ericsson and technology partner Qualcomm have developed an LTE Broadcast solution that relies on a set of new technology standards, starting with eMBMS. The Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service is a 3GPP (LTE) standard that enables mobile networks to offer broadcast/multicast services dynamically to offload issues of popular content in dense consumption scenarios, reducing the cost of service delivery over the radio network and for backhaul.
Video of course consumes an extraordinary amount of bandwidth, and so Ericsson’s system will also employ the newest compression and transmission standards, HEVC and MPEG DASH.
HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) promises to halve the bandwidth required to transport video content compare to today's leading implementation of MPEG-4 AVC. MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), meanwhile, simplifies and standardizes the adaptive delivery of video to consumer devices, ensuring a better quality of service and greater efficiency.
Verizon intends to explore the option of broadcasting in sports venues and in classrooms. Parissa Pandkhou, director of advanced solutions at Verizon said, "Verizon plans to introduce Ericsson LTE Broadcast to give sports fans a whole new experience while watching a game. We see new opportunities in this technology for sports, concerts and even distance learning and college classes."
Also, Telstra will partner with Ericsson on a live network trial of LTE Broadcast technology in Australia in the second half of 2013.
Telstra executive director for networks and access technology Mike Wright said, "The trial will show how we can improve the delivery of video to customers who want to enjoy the video content on the move. The key for this solution is the greater network efficiency it will provide, ensuring we will be able to meet a critical business imperative of giving our technology savvy customers the services they want."