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MWC: Facebook, KPN, Ericsson lead new group to boost LTE broadcast

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Facebook, KPN, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Intel have helped form a new user group exploring LTE Broadcast technology.

The cross industry body, which also includes the GSMA, GSA, INDYCAR, Telstra and Verizon, will hold its first meeting at this week's Mobile World Congress, to share experiences about the best use of LTE Broadcast.

Ericsson has predicted that mobile video use will account for 55 percent of all traffic by 2020. LTE Broadcast has been seen as a means of transmitting media content more efficiently and using spectrum in a more effective way.

Facebook said it was interested in using the technology to roll out app updates to millions of users globally without straining operators' networks.

The group will explore how to work together in order to increase adoption of LTE Broadcast. It will also show how it can be used in public safety contexts, how it can switch between unicast and broadcast and how TV companies can use it to transmit onto set-top boxes.

Dan Warren, Senior Director of Technology, GSMA, said: "The principal objective of the User Group is to share the best practices that will spur industry growth and widespread adoption as we enter a new era of personalised media content. Users want anytime, anywhere, any device access to their media and entertainment and LTE Broadcast can be a key technology to enable delivery of popular content in an optimal way. It can relieve some of the heavy traffic burden that operators would otherwise have to support."

Alan Hadden, VP of Research, GSA, said: "The combination of expanding global LTE coverage, assisted by deployments in lower bands including APT700, falling terminal costs and LTE Broadcast technology will extend education, health and other public service programs to billions of citizens, for which GSA encourages device ecosystems to be developed."

Ericsson announced today that it would trial LTE Broadcast for Singtel during the 28th South East Asian Games, which will take place in June.

Thomas Norén, VP and Head of Product Area Radio, Ericsson, added: "This technology has great potential to grow much further, with more use cases such as TV Services, Cached Media, Software Updates including application updates, Connected Car, Digital Signage and Public Safety."

Among the companies who are exploring the potential of LTE Broadcast are the UK's EE, which is looking to trial it at Wembley stadium, and Vodafone, which had an LTE Broadcast network built in Germany by Huawei for the Kieler Woche sailing event.

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