The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) is reporting that LTE Broadcast has attracted the attention of at least 16 mobile network operators, which are trialing or deploying the technology in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.
The 3GPP LTE Release 9 specifications included evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS), which is the underlying technology behind what is more colloquially known as LTE Broadcast or LTE Multicast. LTE Broadcast supports all specified bandwidths and formats of LTE, including FDD and TDD modes and LTE Advanced carrier aggregation.
AT&T (NYSE: T) recently revealed that it expects to begin deploying LTE Broadcast technology sometime in 2015. Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) intends to start seeding its device base with phones that can support LTE Multicast in the fourth quarter and also plans to commercially launch the service in 2015. The first LTE Broadcast service was commercially launched by KT in South Korea during January 2014.
LTE Broadcast is attracting attention from operators that hope to develop business cases around the exploding consumption of video traffic over mobile devices. During 2013, video accounted for about 40 percent of mobile data traffic, and various forecasts suggest a rise to 66-70 percent by 2017, the GSA noted.
"LTE Broadcast technology enables innovative and profitable business opportunities for mobile network operators," said Alan Hadden, GSA president, who predicted the technology will enable new business models to evolve.
LTE Broadcast supporters note carriers could charge for advertising as well as premium content, and they could also realize significant cost savings from delivering content in a more efficient manner.
In addition to delivering video via broadcast, operators can also use LTE Broadcast with off-peak capacity to deliver new service offerings, which could include rich media caching, or managed software updates including applications updates.
- see this GSA release
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