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LTE broadcast gains traction with operators around the world


LTE broadcast technology is gaining traction with network operators and suppliers around the world, according to a new report. 

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) said 16 network operators are undergoing trials or deploying eMBMS-enabled LTE Broadcast currently.

eMBMS, or Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Service, is one of the key specifications of 3GPP LTE Release 9 and supports all formats of LTE, including FDD, TDD and LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation.

Countries seeing activity include Australia, China, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, the UK and the USA.  

The trade body said LTE broadcast will enable operators to better manage networks facing rapid growth in data traffic, mainly driven by video content. Operators could achieve this by multicasting popular content such as live television and sporting events.

LTE broadcast providers could use off-peak times to make software updates and deliver new service offerings, the GSA added.

In Europe, EE, Three UK, Orange, KPN and Vodafone Germany have all made recent announcements. In June, for example, EE undertook a live trial of LTE broadcast at the Commonwealth games in Scotland, broadcasting three events simultaneously to Samsung handsets.

The previous month, KPN trialled its first broadcast during a football match in the Netherlands.

More recently, Huawei worked with Vodafone Germany to build the country’s first LTE broadcast network for the Kieler Woche sailing event, allowing viewers to watch live footage of the competitors from their smartphones.

Alan Hadden, President of GSA, said: “LTE Broadcast technology enables innovative and profitable business opportunities for mobile network operators. The report lists several use cases, which is constantly expanding, and new business models will evolve.”

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Nokia Networks goes large on LTE broadcast trials