Rohde & Schwarz and Kathrein partner to advance world’s first high-power high-tower LTE Broadcast

Rohde & Schwarz and Kathrein partner to advance world’s first high-power high-tower LTE Broadcast

Project partners Rohde & Schwarz and Kathrein have reached two important milestones of the 5G TODAY research project: On 4 December 2018, a Rohde & Schwarz transmitter successfully went into operation at Bayerischer Rundfunk’s Wendelstein transmitter station. In addition, Kathrein completed an innovative antenna for test operation at BR’s transmitter site in Ismaning near Munich. The R&S THU9evo high-power transmitter with a transmission power of 5 kW (100 kW ERP) and the specially developed Kathrein antenna 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.

Munich, December 5, 2018 — LTE Broadcast, also known as FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service), was specified in 3GPP Release 14 in mid-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 Rohde & Schwarz FeMBMS transmission addresses broadcast applications for video and IP data in HPHT topologies with bandwidths of 5 MHz and 10 MHz. The transmitter receives the reference and configuration data via 3GPP-conform protocols from an LTE EPC (Evolved Packet Core). The research project uses an R&S BSCC that contains all necessary EPC functions. The broadcast services are provided by the BR and transferred to the R&S BSCC via an R&S AVHE100 headend.

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’. 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.

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Kathrein Supports 5G Test Field for TV Transmission

Kathrein Supports 5G Test Field for TV Transmission

Rosenheim, February 02 2018 – Kathrein is one of the partners in the research project 5G-Today. Together with Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR, Bavarian Broadcasting), the German broadcast technology institute IRT, Rohde & Schwarz and Telefónica Deutschland, the company looks into the issue of how 5G technology can be used for the transmission of broadcast content. In the Bavarian Oberland, a 5G test field will be developed, in which the broadcast mode FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) will be tested. The aim is a large-scale and economical television programme distribution on all devices.

The new 5G network standard will be the key technology for highly automated driving and IoT-connected devices. In addition, 5G also offers great potential for the efficient distribution of media content. The introduction of 5G could create a worldwide market with millions of smartphones and tablet PCs as potential TV receivers, which could attractively combine live TV services, media libraries, social networks and many other media services.


An exemplary large-scale supply will be put into practice by combining large transmitter cells with small transmitter cells. For this purpose, TV signals are broadcast as test radio on channel 56 from the BR transmitter Wendelstein and from other BR transmitter locations in the Munich area simultaneously. The start of the first broadcasts is scheduled for the end of 2018. Until then, components for sending and receiving are being developed and installed. In addition, theoretical preliminary examinations and simulations will take place.

As a supplier of mobile communication and radio technology, Kathrein can contribute its expertise from both areas. This results in synergies with the existing 5G test field in Rosenheim, which Kathrein operates for its research work. There the interaction of various services can be tested in practice.


Ralf Exler, Head of Innovation Management at Kathrein, sees this project as an important factor in the convergence of broadcasting and mobile communication: “Especially young people want to receive broadcast content on all user devices. The new standard will bring the convergent network a bit closer.” The customer does not have to worry about the ways in which he can use content. “At 5G-Today, we will be optimising the antennas and network parameters in the field, as well as testing them on the road to provide innovative technology to our automotive customers.”

© KATHREIN SE, Rosenheim