Cornelius Heinemann
Manfred Reitmeier, Vice President Broadcast and Amplifier Systems at Rohde & Schwarz

Broadcast and Media Newsletter 08.09.2020

Rohde & Schwarz transmitters - from DAB to 5G and beyond

IBC is a highlight every year for Rohde & Schwarz since it provides a fantastic opportunity for us to meet and spend time face-to-face with our customers. But even without IBC, business still goes on. Here, Manfred Reitmeier talks through some of the highlights that we would have announced in Amsterdam.

Normally, this month would be dominated by events in Amsterdam. IBC is very important to Rohde & Schwarz, since it provides us with opportunities to meet and spend time with our highly valued customers. This year, IBC is cancelled for very sound and sensible reasons, however both life and business go on. The transmitter and satellite amplifier businesses are cornerstones of Rohde & Schwarz’s operations. So, in the absence of our IBC exhibit, let’s look a little closer at some of the news we would have brought to IBC.

Firstly transmitters. At IBC, we would have showcased our latest developments in DAB transmitters. This includes a new low power DAB radio transmitter – the TLV9. This is an important addition since it completes our transmitter portfolio in this category. Rohde & Schwarz has built a strong market leadership position in UHF and VHF both TV and Radio transmitters and we continue to build on this position in the future.

In this market area, we had a highly successful business drive in North America, responding to the country’s REPACK initiative. To date, we have supplied and installed in excess of 500 transmitters to our customer base in the U.S.

Following on the heels of this is NEXT Gen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0, where we are working with many broadcasters. We are in the fortunate position that we were able to make our recently sold transmitters ATSC 3.0 ready, so to implement Next Gen TV, our customers only need a software-based upgrade instead of exchanging the exciters or even wholesale infrastructure replacement.

And in other news, we are proud to announce a major FM radio transmitter contract in Australia. We have supplied 200+ liquid-cooled FM transmitters. In a country where many remote communities rely on radio for news and entertainment, this is a strategically important and large-scale project.

Solid state satellite amplifiers – a new and radically different approach proves popular

Using the latest transistor technology, Rohde & Schwarz has recently introduced a new family of solid-state amplifiers which combine the best of both worlds and offer users new and radically different functionality compared with traditional tube-based amplifiers.

Importantly, if transistors fail during operation, the amplifier continues to operate with reduced output power. With no high voltages used within the product it is easy to maintain and it offers a significantly longer operating lifetime than its tube-based counterpart.

We have developed two power classes for our uplink amplifiers: 400W and 750W models are available as indoor and outdoor units and for the two frequency bands 12,75 GHz to 13,25 GHz and 13,75 GHz to 14,5 GHz. The amplifiers can be used in large scale fixed satellite installations serving customer applications such as broadcasters, telecom & internet service providers, global business institutions, government and non-government organizations. At the same time, the smaller amplifier can also be used for mobile, vehicle-mounted satellite applications.

A completely new application for our latest innovation in this microwave frequency range is the field of Medical Healthcare where the RF signal from our solid-state amplifier is used for non-invasive tumour disease treatments.

Now, we can announce that we have started global shipments of the PKU100 family of solid-state satellite amplifiers. Already, we are working with a major Scandinavian Teleport operator. Here, the PKU100-750 will be used to replace the existing Travelling Wave Tube Amplifiers, which allows the network operator to simplify and optimize his satellite uplink setup in using our new technology. We have successfully carried out a proof of concept trial, where the customer identified our smart signal adaptive linearization capabilities being a deal maker, especially in the mountainous regions where signal strength can suffer as a result of the topography and changing weather conditions.

5G Broadcast – a new dawn for billions of mobile consumers worldwide

At Rohde & Schwarz, we have introduced the world’s first complete 5G Broadcast solution, which consists of the core network functionality provided by the new BSCC broadcast service and control center and R&S Tx9 transmitters, which support FeMBMS. This all-in-one solution covers all roles within a 5G Broadcast/Multicast workflow from the content provider to the consumer, is fully compliant with 3GPP Release 14 and has the upcoming 3GPP Release 16 in focus as well. It enables broadcasters to contribute their valuable assets for efficient distribution of high-quality video to the future 5G ecosystem.

Running as part of the core network, the BSCC broadcast service and control center is a software defined solution that delivers multimedia content over LTE/5G networks in broadcast mode. It generates service announcements and encapsulates multimedia content into specific FeMBMS bearers to be delivered from the evolved packet core (EPC) down to the receiver. At IBC we would have presented our latest software release 2.0 for BSCC with major feature enhancements for the network.

The BSCC 2.0 enables content providers to deliver high data rate content to their mobile users simultaneously with consistent quality of service. This results in higher quality of experience, spectral efficiency and reduced costs.

BSCC 2.0 makes it possible for broadcasters and network operators to launch new mobile TV services for the end user. In order to deliver more services such as multimedia streaming on demand and public warning, BSCC 2.0’s functions can be enhanced with more features and optionally integrate MCE and/or MME to provide a complete broadcast/multicast solution. It can also be easily connected to third-party MCE and/or MME as a highly flexible platform. The BSCC 2.0 broadcast service and control center supports all required 3GPP standardized interfaces to control all EPC elements involved in the delivery of broadcast content over the LTE/5G network.

This exciting product was first introduced at IBC last year and directly won the IABM BaM Award 2019. Since then, we have been very actively involved with large-scale proof of concept trials in Munich, Beijing, and Rio de Janeiro.

Also, in Barcelona early this year, we have provided an end-to-end 5G Broadcast/Multicast solution. This Proof of Concept demonstration is based around our 1.5 KW TMU9evo 5G Broadcast enabled transmitter, with BSCC 2.0 playing the role of a core network. In addition, a software defined receiver, developed by Technical University of Braunschweig is used to demonstrate the 5G Broadcast reception.

In Barcelona, the on air signal is transmitted in channel 56 with 5MHz bandwidth (750-755 MHz) from Collserola’s Tower Cellnex facilities. Spinner, a worldwide filters provider for mobile and broadcasting infrastructures, takes part in the PoC, providing a 5MHz 5G Broadcast based filter for the transmitter. The content broadcast through the Broadcast/Multicast over 5G trial includes both live and non-live 4K streams. The live content is provided by RTVE, – the Spanish public service broadcaster – includes the live radio channel “Radio 5” and the TV channel “Canal 24H” from RTVE (both channels dedicated to public service content).

At Rohde & Schwarz, we believe that 5G Broadcast/Multicast applications are well suited to the European and global market. In Italy, we are supporting CRIT (Italian broadcaster RAI’s R&D body) in Torino with a 5G Broadcast test network including high/medium power transmitters and the BSCC playing the role of the core network.

With nearly the same setup, we promote a better way of delivering content to many consumers across France, Austria, Finland, Spain and Philippines where tests are also taking places. Interest is high in other parts of the world like South Africa, Mexico, Malaysia, Australia, UAE, Russia, Hong Kong, Korea, UK and even US, where we have identified potential future 5G Broadcast/Multicast commercial trials.

If you are interested in more information about any aspect of my presentation, contact your local Rohde & Schwarz representative who will put us in touch.

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