Nokia Networks claimed a world first in the ongoing development of LTE Broadcast technology, after conducting a field trial of wide-area TV broadcasting using a single LTE frequency within UHF spectrum in Munich.
The company said current LTE Broadcast applications focus on delivering media content to contained locations, such as stadia and concert halls, over limited periods of time. However, Nokia believes that the technology has a wider application for national broadcasting services through the use of a single frequency network.
It is therefore aiming to demonstrate that LTE could be used to complement, and even provide another option to, regional digital TV distribution standards, such as DVB-T in Europe.
The Munich trial is using part of the 700 MHz band to broadcast over a 200 square km area, and also involves other partners including the Institut für Rundfunktechnik, the research institute of broadcasting companies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and Bavarian broadcasting company Bayerischer Rundfunk.
"Spectrum doesn't need to be dedicated to either broadcast or broadband, but can be used flexibly for both according to users' needs. We believe that LTE Broadcast is a technology well suited to distribute TV and broadcast services and will help us expand the benefits of mobile internet to everyone while evolving the TV viewing experience," said Hossein Moiin, CTO at Nokia Networks.
The trial, which began transmissions in early July in Munich, uses evolved Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (eMBMS) software running on Nokia base stations. The Nokia LTE equipment is deployed at four sites of Bayerischer Rundfunk in Northern Munich.
Interest in LTE Broadcast technology is certainly running high and, as pointed out by Nokia, operator trials have so far focused on large sporting events. For example, EE partnered UK broadcaster BBC, which is carrying out a number of trials including broadcasting content live over LTE networks during the Commonwealth Games.
KPN in the Netherlands and Vodafone in Germany have also carried out similar trials of LTE Broadcast technology at major sporting events.
- see this Nokia Networks release
EE to partner BBC in UK's first live LTE Broadcast trial
KPN follows Vodafone with live LTE Broadcast trial
Vodafone picks Ericsson, NSN for Project Spring deals
LTE rollouts, OTT partnerships and more M&A in store for 2014
LTE Broadcast still far off in Europe, but coming into focus