5G Broadcast forecast to grow rapidly in next five years

As unique 5G Broadcast trials continue in Bavaria, research group MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global LTE and 5G Broadcast market is expected to reach USD 807 million by 2024 from USD 464 million in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% during 2019–2024.

5G Broadcast forecast to grow rapidly in next five years
5G Broadcast forecast to grow rapidly in next five years

An increase in the number of LTE mobile subscriptions, plus an increase in the penetration of smartphones into the market and growing video traffic will all play a significant role in the growth of the LTE and 5G Broadcast market.

5G Broadcast to grow at a higher CAGR

5G Broadcast offers consumers limitless media consumption and improves mobile experience. The 5G broadband idea was enhanced via the 3GPP group with Release 14 and 15 as further enhanced multimedia broadcast multicast service (FeMBMS). This standard gives full spectrum of high-power high-tower (HPHT) applications in downlink-only mode.

5G Broadcast creates an opportunity for TV broadcasters and content providers to widen their reach to customers as the technology allows them to address mobile devices directly. With the increasing demand of consumers for premium content such as live sports events, the market for 5G broadcast is expected to grow at a very high rate.

Video-on-demand and stadiums

Video-on-demand and stadiums are the verticals expected to grow with the highest growth rate from 2019-2024. The increasing number of mobile subscribers is leading for popular content such as headline news and sports championships. Further, the growing video-on-demand end-use is impacting the capacity needed to deliver popular content and hence is opening up new business opportunities for mobile operators.

The number of users watching live matches in a stadium on their mobiles is often huge, due to which the users end up getting low speed. By deploying LTE broadcast, cellular operators can manage network congestion better by allowing multicast for popular content demanded by multiple subscribers, such as live TV and events. Also, LTE and 5G Broadcast can be used for multiple use cases such as digital signage, emergency alerts, displays in stadiums, content delivery to automobile screens, and others. LTE broadcast is also used in use cases that require mass consumption of videos such as live sports events in a stadium.

APAC regional growth

The market growth in APAC will mainly be driven by growing developments (such as R&D activities, investments, and partnerships with different companies) related to the market in Japan, China, South Korea, and India. Cross-collaboration among leading players hailing from different sections of industry value chain is engaging in field tests and trials of the LTE and 5G Broadcast network across the world. Such developments in network will create opportunities for the market to grow in APAC.

First 5G Broadcast field trial in Bavaria

The 5G TODAY project launched its unique field trial for 5G Broadcasting on May 9, 2019. The new large-area 5G field trial in the Bavarian alpine region is covered by two high-performance transmitters located in Ismaning and on the top of the Wendelstein mountain.

The project partners Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation (Bayerischer Rundfunk, BR), IRT, Kathrein, Rohde & Schwarz as well as Telefónica Germany are jointly testing broadcasting options for future 5G technology.

With the help of the high transmission towers and the high power of the transmitters (High-Power-High-Tower-Concept, HPHT), the large-area broadcasting of TV programs can be tested based on the new broadcast mode FeMBMS, which allows far-reaching and inexpensive distribution of popular content across large coverage areas with a radius of up to 60 kilometres. Both transmitters operate with 100 kilowatts effective output power (technically: ERP).

The 5G TODAY project is intended to lay the foundation for the efficient transmission of broadcasting content in the 5G networks of the future. It has been supported by the Bavarian Research Foundation since 2017.

IRT is coordinating the project and is developing a prototype FeMBMS receiver based on a Software-defined Radio (SDR) solution. In the future, this technology could be integrated into smartphones, tablets and TV sets for the reliable reception of live and linear content over 5G. The test receiver for the start event is kindly provided by the Institute for Communications Technology of the Technische Universität Braunschweig.

The test operation of 5G TODAY will run from now on until autumn 2019, after which the results and further exploitation of the findings will be evaluated. The project ends on October 31, 2019.

Posted by Chris Dickinson, technology journalist and editor of the Always On blog. June 5, 2019.

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