LTE video broadcasting - Top Wireless Technologies in 2013

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What is it?
LTE Broadcast using evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) is a multicast technology that industry players believe will take off this year. Many LTE operators worldwide are considering adding eMBMS capability to their LTE infrastructure in order to efficiently multicast popular video content rather than deliver it via unicast HTTP, which clutters up valuable spectrum. Essentially, LTE Broadcast allows the same content to be sent to a large number of subscribers at the same time, resulting in a more efficient use of network resources than each user requesting the same content and then having the content unicast to each user.

According to a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) white paper, LTE Broadcast enables pre-scheduled broadcast delivery in order to pre-cache the content on mobile devices prior to end user consumption. Content could be offered on the fly as well, meaning it would be scheduled for broadcast delivery while mobile devices are still downloading the content via HTTP.

Why is it important?
Samsung Electronics and Huawei have been early proponents of LTE Broadcast technology, which is also being touted by multiple carriers. LTE Broadcast is being hyped as a way to decrease mobile video traffic volumes. Research firm iGR recently estimated that LTE Broadcast can potentially offset 12.5 percent of the video data traffic from unicast overall and 15 percent during peak hours in 2016 if deployed across a metro market.

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is working to deliver multicast video to customers using LTE Broadcast, joining a list that reportedly includes Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) and others.