Bringing 5G Broadcast to the stadium
5G Broadcast is bringing enhanced viewing experiences to the stadium

Broadcast and Media Newsletter 09.02.2021

Rohde & Schwarz part of UK sponsored consortium for 5G live event media delivery project

A new UK-based project is developing the means to broadcast live events over 5G networks and is sponsored by the UK government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Read here how Rohde & Schwarz is contributing to this exciting project.

Digital TV Group (DTG), the centre of UK digital TV, in partnership with Digital Catapult, Global Wireless Solutions, O2 and Rohde & Schwarz have successfully secured Government funding to develop a 5G mobile based platform to broadcast events in stadiums and other venues.

DTG and partners plan to provide enhanced interactive viewing experiences direct to devices in stadia and at other select locations, using 5G broadcast also known as FeMBMS (further enhanced multimedia broadcast multicast service).

The objective of the consortium's VISTA (Video In Stadia Technical Architecture) project is to test and demonstrate consumer benefits and technical feasibility of using 5G FeMBMS technology.

This collaboration brings together complementary skills from across the whole mobile media delivery ecosystem from devices, to networks to broadcast, to content and venues. The consortium has strong pre-existing relationships built on successful R&D work and 5G trials.

The £2.3 million project has received £1.3 million from the Government as part of 5G Create, a competition to support innovators exploring new uses for 5G to improve people’s lives and boost British businesses.

The project will define use cases which stimulate the development of the device and network ecosystem to support 5G broadcast and by having these features inherent in network architecture it provides built-in efficiencies which are seamless to end-users.

It will also demonstrate how 5G broadcast can reduce carbon footprint by reducing the number of base stations and the amount of spectrum needed to deliver content to mass audiences.

The result will highlight the potential for delivery of content and ways of watching which can bring about possibilities for collaborative viewing and interplay between venues meaning that watching a sporting event becomes a social occasion, even if you cannot leave the house.

“5G presents a huge opportunity to enhance the stadium experience for sports fans with seamless access to multi-angle video, replays and stats,” commented Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister in the UK Government. “Project Vista is one of several high-tech projects the government is funding to seize the full benefits of 5G for the UK, and I look forward to sharing the lessons learned with the UK’s wider live events sector.”

“The efficient nature of 5G delivery and the low impact on data usage of broadcast technology will mean that it becomes viable to deliver more content, though more channels and to more devices, leading to increased fan engagement with teams, an ‘all access’ opportunity for viewers, and increasing the appeal of sport across generations,” explained Alex Buchan, Strategic Technologist at the DTG.

“At Rohde & Schwarz, we are actively involved in 5G Broadcast / Multicast trials around the world,” stated Manfred Reitmeier, Vice President Transmitters and Amplifier Systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “This live event related application is the next important step for us with this technology. We are tremendously excited to participate in this UK-based strategic initiative.”

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