Media Days Munich: Unified worldwide technical broadcasting standard possible

Media Days Munich: Unified worldwide technical broadcasting standard possible

How far has 5G research already progressed and can the 5G standard already be used in practice for the media sector? These and other questions were discussed by experts from all over Europe in a joint panel of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation and the Institute for Broadcasting Technology (IRT) at the Media Days Munich. 

The current development of the 5G standard was the topic of the panel “Towards 5G Broadcast in Europe” last week at the Media Days Munich. Antonio Arcidiacono, Director for Technology and Innovation of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), emphasized the currently unique opportunity to implement a uniform broadcasting standard for the first time. “We have a great opportunity to establish a worldwide standard and bridge the gap between unicast and broadcast services for mobile devices based on the same transmission technology,” said Arcidiacono.

Taskforce 5G Media Action Group

In order to implement the new mobile communications standard throughout Europe, a task force has been formed within the EBU: 5G MAG, the Media Action Group for 5G. Arcidiacono called on companies from the media, telecommunications and automotive industries to get involved with 5G MAG: “This is a global project that we are launching here in Europe. And it’s not just about information or entertainment, it’s about a new level of infrastructure that we can reach.”

Research is underway

However, further research is needed to harness the full potential of 5G network technology for the production and distribution of media content. According to Dr. Khishigbayar Dushchuluun, Head of Radio Systems at the Munich Institute for Broadcasting Technology (IRT), the next development stage is currently being completed with Release 16.

The first tests with the new 5G standard are also underway in France. For example, Jacques Donat-Bouillud, Vice President Broadcast and Distribution at FranceTV, reported on tests in Paris that will enable mobile TV programme reception on smartphones via 5G in the French metropolis. “We are satisfied with the results so far, as we have achieved very good coverage”, he explained.

Italy’s public RAI has also gained its first experience in Turin. “We are currently working on extending the tests to other cities,” reports Vittoria Mignone, Senior Researcher at RAI.

5G Broadcast works – and then? 

The second part of the panel focused on the advantages of 5G Broadcast. In particular, 5G offers enormous efficiency gains regarding the power-intensive data transmissions of the future. For example, entertainment content, georeferenced recommendations or travel-specific services could be played when driving autonomously via head-up displays. 5G also offers new possibilities in the personalization of media content, for example with non-linear offerings (on-demand). “However, it is important that we discuss this today, even if the projects are not implemented for another ten years,” demanded Dr. Roland Beutler, Distribution Strategy Manager at Südwestrundfunk. There was agreement among the experts that significant progress will have been made in development until next year and that it will be possible to use the 5G standard in everyday life soon.


Bavarian 5G TODAY research project approaching successful completion

Bavarian 5G TODAY research project approaching successful completion

With the pioneering 5G TODAY project, first results on mobile radio reception via 5G technology could be obtained. After the scheduled end of the project on October 31st, 5G Broadcast will be further researched. The potential of 5G network technology for the production and distribution of media content will also be the subject of a joint panel discussion between Bayerischer Rundfunk and IRT at the Media Days Munich.

Munich, October 23rd, 2019 – The Bavarian research project 5G TODAY is approaching its end. Within the scope of 5G TODAY, a complete broadcasting chain for the large-cell distribution of TV programs based on the LTE/5G broadcast mode FeMBMS was realized for the first time. The aim of these field trials was to examine the efficient distribution of TV programs for reception on future mobile 5G devices such as smartphones and tablets. 5G Broadcast offers fundamental advantages such as high video quality, low latency and cost-effective distribution with high coverage.

The project, funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation, has been running since 2017. With 5G TODAY, the project partners IRT, Kathrein, Rohde & Schwarz and as associated partners the Bayerischer Rundfunk and Telefónica Deutschland jointly investigated the possibilities of a 5G-based broadcast solution. In addition to the development of the corresponding components for transmission and reception technology, extensive preliminary examinantions, simulations and field measurements took place within the scope of the project. In addition, various antenna polarizations were investigated especially for reception on smartphones and measurement systems for the FeMBMS field tests were developed. Due to the new status of FeMBMS, detailed research on the synchronization behavior and the resulting supply quality are still necessary. Therefore, there is agreement among the project partners to continue the work started with 5G TODAY and to operate the test field beyond the planned duration of the project.

5G Broadcast: Other countries are starting their own projects

The field measurements of 5G TODAY have already shown that FeMBMS can achieve the characteristics of a classic broadcast transmission system. “We were able to achieve good mobile TV reception on large parts of the measurement area. These findings form an important basis for further standardization work on 5G broadcasting,” says Aneta Baier, project manager at the Institute for Broadcasting Technology (IRT). Following the example of 5G TODAY, 5G broadcast trials meanwhile have also been carried out in Brazil and China for several weeks now. Both countries also used the transmitter technology of the Bavarian manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz. This week during the Media Days Munich, a panel of experts from IRT and BR will present the status of European activities in the field of 5G broadcasting and discuss how common interests can be bundled with regard to new services.

5G broadcast: Brazil launches broadcast with Bavarian technology

5G broadcast: Brazil launches broadcast with Bavarian technology

(Photo: Pixabay)

The Brazilian media company Grupo Globo carried out the first Brazilian 5G broadcast field test with equipment from Rohde & Schwarz at the Rock in Rio Festival.

Munich, October 16, 2019 – In Rio de Janeiro, Globo, the largest Brazilian and Latin American TV network, recently conducted a 5G broadcast field test together with Rohde & Schwarz. At the end of September, thereby the Rock Festival in Rio was transmitted as a 4K signal using the new technology. The Bavarian electronics manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz, which also supports the 5G TODAY project with its technology, provided an R&S TMU9evo transmitter and the R&S BSCC network component. The aim of the test run is to validate the transmission technology in terms of its operability and market opportunities. Similar to the 5G TODAY project in Bavaria, the Brazilian field test is intended to contribute to the discussion on the further development of television in the growing 5G technology environment. Already last summer, a Chinese delegation in Munich informed themselves about the 5G TODAY project and subsequently ordered broadcasting equipment from Rohde & Schwarz for a field test in China.

The 5G TODAY project in Bavaria, funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (BFS), has been running since 2017. With the research project, the project partners Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT), Kathrein, Rohde & Schwarz and, as associated partners, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Telefónica Deutschland are jointly investigating the possibilities of a broadcast solution based on the future 5G technology. As a transmitter manufacturer, Rohde & Schwarz has been a driving force in the development of 5G broadcast for years. With this pioneering concept, broadcasters can deliver content for various applications in broadcast mode over large areas of 5G networks in a constantly changing market. This offers advantages such as high video quality, low latency and cost-effective distribution with high coverage.

Broadband TV News writes about Rohde & Schwarz and 5G TODAY

Broadband TV News writes about Rohde & Schwarz and 5G TODAY

The magazine Broadband TV News currently reports that a similar 5G broadcast test project is being launched in China based on the model of 5G TODAY. Rohde & Schwarz is also supplying important components for this project. You can read the complete article here.

China starts 5G broadcast project with Bavarian technology

China starts 5G broadcast project with Bavarian technology

5G TODAY Broadcast Partner Rohde & Schwarz Delivers Technology

12.8.2019 Following the Bavarian example of the 5G TODAY project, China will start broadcasting its own 5G broadcast test network in August. The aim is to achieve the commercial use of 5G broadcasts for large-scale TV transmissions up to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and further national expansion by 2025. With the realization of the project with the Academy of Broadcasting Science (ABS) and China Broadcasting Network. Co. Ltd. (CBN), two public institutions of the government agency Chinese National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) entrusted with.

The 5G TODAY project in Bavaria, funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (BFS) and in operation since May 2019, completely convinced the NRTA delegation to also operate such an experimental field. For some time now, NRTA has been researching the next-generation mobile communications standard. The FeMBMS (Further Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) and the associated High Tower High Power (HTHP) concept are now regarded by NRTA as the most suitable solution. The fact that CBN received the commercial 5G license of 4.9 GHz with 50 MHz band in June 2019 makes a FeMBMS field test the logical consequence.

With the CCTV Tower, Jing Guang Center and Ming Ren Square, the Beijing test network comprises three stations which are operated in a single-frequency network (SFN) and are approximately 10 km apart. When setting up the network, both ABS and CBN relied on Rohde & Schwarz transmitters and core network components, as Rohde & Schwarz has been an important driving force behind 5G broadcasting for years. The transmitters with an output power of 1 kW will operate at a center frequency of 754 MHz with a bandwidth of 5 MHz (later 10 MHz). An SDR receiver (Software Defined Radio) developed by the Technical University of Braunschweig and a signal analyzer from Kathrein are included in the same test package. With this end-to-end implementation, ABS and CBN plan to carry out various tests, such as field strength propagation, network coverage, mobility reception, application possibilities and cooperation with the LTE-Unicast network.

First 5G field trial for broadcast transmission starts operations in Bavaria

First 5G field trial for broadcast transmission starts operations in Bavaria

Kick-Off event at IRT: Official launch of the 5G TODAY Broadcasting field trial

Munich, May 9th, 2019: The 5G TODAY project officially launched its unique field trial for 5G Broadcasting. The project partners Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation (Bayerischer Rundfunk, BR), the Broadcast Technology Institute IRT, Kathrein, Rohde & Schwarz as well as Telefónica Germany are jointly testing broadcasting options for future 5G technology. The new large-area 5G field trial in the Bavarian alpine region is covered by two high-performance transmitters located in Ismaning and on the top of the Wendelstein mountain. Both operate with 100 kilowatts effective output power (technically: ERP). With the help of the high transmission towers and the high power of the transmitters (High-Power-High-Tower-Concept, HPHT), the large-area broadcasting of TV programs can be tested based on the new broadcast mode FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service). The FeMBMS broadcast mode allows far-reaching and inexpensive distribution of popular content across large coverage areas with a radius of up to 60 kilometres.

Dr. Florian Herrmann, head of the Bavarian State Chancellery and Minister of State for Federal and European Affairs and Media, started the operation of the transmitters from a tablet in front of 160 guests from the telecommunications and media industry, who are participating in an accompanying two-day conference at IRT. “With this milestone, we are creating an impulse for the Bavarian media landscape, once again highlighting the innovative strength of Bavaria as a whole”, said Herrmann.

The 5G TODAY project is intended to lay the foundation for the efficient transmission of broadcasting content in the 5G networks of the future. It has been supported by the Bavarian Research Foundation since 2017. “I am delighted that today we can launch the world’s first large-scale test network for 5G broadcasting”, says Ulrich Wilhelm, Director General of Bayerischer Rundfunk and currently Chairman of ARD.

“We must design our future digital communications infrastructures in such a way that everyone can continue to benefit from the diversity of media content. I welcome the fact that Bavaria is playing a pioneering role in setting standards and in shaping our digital world in this sense.”

What has been lacking so far in the distribution of broadcasting content is an efficient and direct way of reaching users with live and linear content on mobile devices without additional costs for them. That is why BR together with IRT and three industry leaders launched the 5G TODAY project in 2017. The project will test how 5G broadcasting can be used to create an overlay infrastructure that can simultaneously serve millions of future 5G mobile devices. The aim is neither to burden the regular mobile networks nor to incur additional costs for citizens.

The technical project partners were also very pleased with the progressing project: “With its expertise in mobile communication and broadcasting technology, Kathrein can contribute its know-how from both areas. These synergies are highly valuable for us when testing various services in 5G TODAY”, emphasizes Anton Kathrein, CEO of the Kathrein Group. At the transmitter in Ismaning, an antenna system from Kathrein, which is designed for the distribution of broadcast signals to mobile devices, was integrated into the test field.

HPHT transmitters from Rohde & Schwarz are used for the 5G radio transmission. “With this forward-looking concept, broadcasters can enjoy the same advantages in the distribution of video content over 5G networks as they do in classic broadcasting, such as high video quality, short latency times and long range. With our high-performance transmitters, we make a decisive contribution to the operation of the field trial”, emphasizes Peter Riedel, COO of Rohde & Schwarz. The two test transmitters are operated as a Single Frequency Network (SFN) in channel 56/57 (750-760 MHz).

Telefónica Germany is making the appropriate frequencies available for this purpose: “We are supporting the 5G TODAY project in coordinating the spectrum used in the 700 MHz band. It is important for us to learn more about long-range propagation in the 700 MHz band and the application of very large radio cells”, says Gerald Huber, Senior Manager 5G Projects at Telefónica Germany.

After the successful launch, Michael Hagemeyer, Managing Director of IRT, expressed his satisfaction: “With this field trial covering Munich and the Bavarian alpine region, we now have a unique and true pioneer project – even if it will still take a few more years for commercial terminal devices to become available and before public operation will be possible. The test will provide important insights for our research.” IRT is coordinating the project and is developing a prototype FeMBMS receiver based on a Software-defined Radio (SDR) solution. In the future, this technology could be integrated into smartphones, tablets and TV sets for the reliable reception of live and linear content over 5G. The test receiver for the start event is kindly provided by the Institute for Communications Technology of the Technische Universität Braunschweig.

The test operation of 5G TODAY will run from now on until autumn 2019, after which the results and further exploitation of the findings will be evaluated. The project ends on October 31st, 2019.

Photo (IRT): Kick-Off event at IRT: Official launch of the 5G TODAY Broadcasting field trial, from left to right: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Arndt Bode (Bavarian Research Foundation), Uwe Löwenstein (Telefónica), Anton Kathrein (Kathrein-Group), Ulrich Wilhelm (ARD-Chairman, BR), Dr. Florian Herrmann (Bavarian State Chancellery and Minister of State for Federal and European Affairs and Media), Thomas Janner (Rohde & Schwarz), Manfred Reitmeier (Rohde & Schwarz), Michael Hagemeyer (IRT), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Reimers (IfN, Technische Universität Braunschweig)

Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz partner to advance world’s first 5G Test Field for TV Transmission

Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz partner to advance world’s first 5G Test Field for TV Transmission

Rosenheim, December 07 2018 – Project partners Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz have reached two important milestones of the 5G TODAY research project: Kathrein completed an innovative antenna for test operation at BR’s transmitter site in Ismaning near Munich. In addition, a Rohde & Schwarz transmitter successfully went into operation at Bayerischer Rundfunk’s (BR) Wendelstein transmitter station. The specially developed Kathrein antenna and the high-power transmitter are part of the LTE Broadcast test transmission.The 5G TODAY project is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation and led by the Institute for Broadcasting Technology, IRT. Further project partners are Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) and Telefónica Germany.

The new 5G network standard is a key technology for the future when vehicles become highly automated and devices are networked with each other in the Internet of Things. 5G also offers great potential for efficient distribution of media content. The introduction of 5G will open up a worldwide market with millions of smartphones and tablets acting as potential TV receivers able to combine live TV services, media libraries, social networks and many other media services.

LTE Broadcast, also known as FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service), was specified in 3GPP Release 14 in June 2017. It defines new options for broadcasting to LTE-enabled mobile user equipment such as smartphones and tablets. For the first time, the upgraded standard allows high-power high-tower (HPHT) applications in downlink only mode while utilising the full signal bandwidth for multicast/broadcast applications. Moreover, 3GPP Release 14 defines an extended cyclic prefix (guard interval) and modes to enable operation without SIM cards, which is necessary for broadcast applications.

The transmitters in Ismaning and on the Wendelstein form a Single Frequency Network (SFN), which is to enable mobile and portable reception in the greater Munich area as well as on the main traffic routes between Munich and Salzburg. Communication technology specialist Kathrein developed a special antenna for the transmission of diversity signals for the transmitter station in Ismaning. Twelve innovative UHF antenna fields were installed at a height of 200 meters. The project also included the installation of a 370-metre long, arm-thick HF transmission cable. Another Rohde & Schwarz high-power transmitter with 7 kW output power for 100 kW ERP is to be connected to the antenna at the end of January. The test broadcasting network will then be prepared for the measurements.

Currently, a major European 5G field trial is being established in Germany as part of the Bavarian research project ‘5G TODAY’. The project is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation. Under the leadership of the Institute for Broadcast Technology (IRT), project partners Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz are investigating large-scale TV broadcasts in the FeMBMS mode over 5G Broadcast networks. The project is supported by Telefónica Germany and Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Bavarian state broadcaster, who is providing two HPHT sites near Munich for this groundbreaking field trial.

© KATHREIN SE, Rosenheim