KPN follows Vodafone with live LTE Broadcast trial

KPN has become the second operator in Europe to publicly announce a live trial of LTE Broadcast technology, following the announcement by Vodafone in February that it had conducted Europe's first live test of the technology in Germany.

Like Vodafone, KPN is working with Ericsson, Samsung and Qualcomm on LTE Broadcast services based on evolved Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service (eMBMS). The trial took place on May 3 at the Amsterdam Arena stadium during a football match between Ajax and NEC. It represented the first live LTE Broadcast trial in the Netherlands and also involved IBM as a further technology partner.

Both Vodafone and KPN made use of a major sporting event to test how the technology can be used to deliver video to multiple users: Vodafone's trial took place at the stadium of German football club Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday February 22, when the club played 1899 Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Indeed, many industry observers agree that events will be the starting point for revenue-generating opportunities for LTE Broadcast, with other use cases following in time.

KPN said it is enthusiastic about the success of the pilot and is currently exploring what steps to take next.

"Our experience with our country-wide 4G network demonstrates there is a clear customer demand for video content during events. Therefore our aim was to find a solution for delivering high quality video content to large groups of people," said Joost Steltenpool, Director Access at KPN.

Other European operators such as Orange and EE have previously told FierceWireless:Europe that they are interested in LTE Broadcast, with Orange carrying out small-scale trials and EE planning to launch a trial this year.

Indeed, any operator with an LTE network is likely to have this technology on its roadmap. Key drivers for its deployment include the more efficient use of spectrum and backhaul networks, and the ability to add capacity where required.

On a global scale, South Korean operator KT launched the first commercial LTE Broadcast service in January while Verizon and Telstra have revealed they are trialling the technology and are expected to launch commercial services this year. On Oct. 28, Telstra in Australia completed what it claims to be the world's first LTE Broadcast session on a commercial LTE network using Ericsson and Qualcomm technology.

For more:
- see this Ericsson release on the KPN trial

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