World’s first transmission of LTE FeMBMS signals in a dynamic single-frequency network

Within the framework of the 5G TODAY research project and in cooperation with the Institute for Communications Technology of the Braunschweig Technical University, Rohde & Schwarz has successfully commissioned the world’s first dynamic single-frequency network (SFN) with FeMBMS signals in the lab

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Currently, a major European 5G field trial is being established in Germany as part of the 5G TODAY Bavarian research project. Under the leadership of the Institute for Broadcast Technology (IRT), project partners Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz are investigating large-scale TV broadcast transmissions in FeMBMS mode over 5G Broadcast networks. The project is supported by Telefónica Germany and Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Bavarian state broadcaster, who is providing two HPHT sites near Munich for this groundbreaking field trial.

LTE Broadcast, also known as Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (FeMBMS), was specified in 3GPP Release 14 in mid-2017. The upgraded standard defines new options for broadcasting to LTE-enabled mobile user equipment such as smartphones and tablets. It allows for the first time high power high tower (HPHT) applications in downlink only mode.

The new features make it possible to utilize the full signal bandwidth for multicast/broadcast applications. Moreover, 3GPP Release 14 defines an extended cyclic prefix (corresponding to the guard interval in DVB-T/T2) and modes to enable operation without SIM cards, which is necessary for the broadcast application.

The Rohde & Schwarz FeMBMS transmission addresses broadcast applications for video and IP data in HPHT topologies with bandwidths of 5 MHz and 10 MHz. With this breakthrough, the company emphasizes its commitment to the new technological perspectives arising from the standardization of FeMBMS, thereby demonstrating the potential held by 5G Broadcast for applications such as TV services delivered to mobile user equipment and connected cars, and for IoT applications.

Posted by Chris Dickinson, technology journalist and editor of the Always On blog. September 13, 2018.

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