Tag Archives: BBC

BBC make the first live broadcast over a public 5G network

5G BBC newscast

You’re probably already aware that EE has just launched its 5G network in the UK, but it’s set to do more than just power up phones, and the BBC has already shown off one other thing it can do – live broadcasts.

In a UK first, the BBC and BT broadcast a live TV contribution over EE’s public 5G network. The clip was beamed from Covent Garden where it was recorded, back to BBC New Broadcasting House, and was delivered in high quality.

It was made possible through specialised 5G modems connected to BBC News cameras, and it sounds like a far preferable option to broadcasting using 4G, as 4G network links require multiple connections to deliver the capacity needed to carry the live video feed, whereas they only needed one connection in this 5G trial.

That therefore reduces the cost and complexity of the broadcast, which in turn makes it more viable to broadcast smaller live events than it would have been in the past.

The trial apparently also allowed the company to explore different encoding options to compress the video, but it wasn’t totally seamless, as apparently the broadcast team ran out of data on the first attempt, highlighting how data-hungry 5G can potentially be.

Alex Tempest, Managing Director, Wholesale at BT said: “We are delighted to demonstrate the power and innovation that 5G can bring to the media and broadcasting industry through our trial with the BBC. Whether on the street, in a stadium or on location, 5G provides a new dimension that can deliver the speed, efficiency and reliability that outside broadcasting requires. And gives broadcasters the ability to deploy equipment quickly and with ease, without having to worry about the connection.”

Serious speed

The broadcast in question was used to talk about EE’s 5G network itself, and during it the reporter (Rory Cellan-Jones) reported getting speeds of 260Mbps on his phone, which is far higher than you can expect on 4G. But EE has already said that peak 5G speeds on its network could exceed 1Gbps.

While this broadcast is a great example of the potential of 5G, it’s not the only 5G thing the BBC has been working on. It has also for example trialled live radio broadcasts over 5G.

5G could be big for broadcast and it’s not just the BBC that’s looking into it. EERohde & Schwarz and more are already exploring its potential too.

Source: James Rogerson. 5g.co.uk


5G Innovation Centre plans move closer to reality

A consortium of key global players in telecommunications formally joins Surrey to develop 5G Innovation Centre.

Together pledging support worth over £30 million, the consortium officially signed an official partnership with the University of Surrey on 25 October. The group consists of some of the world’s leading mobile network operators, infrastructure and tools providers, media and communications organisations, as well as the UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom. It includes Aeroflex, AIRCOM International, BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Huawei, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone.

The world’s first research centre dedicated to mobile technology, the 5G Innovation Centre will focus on the advanced technologies that will underpin the 5G network of the future. The project will also include the development of a 5G ‘test bed’, based on campus, which will enable technologies to be tested in a real-world environment.

The consortium’s pledged support of £30 million (which includes time, expertise and other contributions) is in addition to the £11.6 million awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) last autumn.

As a further boost to this major project, plans for the 5G Innovation Centre have now been granted planning permission, with preparatory building work now underway. The Centre will be built to high environmental standards, with an expected completion date of January 2015. Once completed, it will become home to 150 researchers and around 100 PhD students.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Head of Surrey’s Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), said: “We are delighted that the formal agreements are now in place and plans are underway to start turning the vision for a 5G Innovation Centre into a reality.

“Undoubtedly, 4G technologies are revolutionising mobile connectivity in the UK and will continue to do so over the next decade, but it is extremely important for us to find innovative ways of coping with the levels of mobile communications data traffic that are expected to continue rising. We will use state-of-the-art 4G as the starting point for our work and complement this with even more advanced technologies which place the user at the heart of the design process.

“By bringing together leading academics with heavyweight industry partners, I believe we can develop the technologies that are required to provide much-needed capacity, drive economic growth and actively contribute to and shape the future 5G system. Ultimately, our vision is to provide a consistent and reliable mobile communications service and create the perception of ‘infinite capacity’.”

Source: University of Surrey Press Office