BT Group revealed it is working with UK broadcasters to develop what it pitched as a pioneering technology for live content to maximise the streaming experience during peak network traffic times, earmarked for deployment in 2024.

The company explained the new technology, dubbed Multicast-Assisted Unicast Delivery (MAUD), will combine traditional unicast delivery, a mode which sends content to a single viewer who requests it. with a multicast mode. The latter is capable of transferring content to consumers via IP networks and is a popular option for live-streaming. 

MAUD technology is then capable of combining single streams into a shared one, according to BT, directing it to viewers watching the same content and eliminating the need to “select and serve millions of individual streams” during major events.

This will speed up process of content reaching audiences while improving other aspects of the streaming experience, like buffering and image quality. 

A unique feature of MAUD is an ability to render seamless integration, which means content providers do not need to update or modify apps to deploy the technology, potentially saving time and money. 

BT’s recent research found 90 per cent of the British public consume live content on TV at least once a day, reflecting a strong appetite for broadcast.

At a briefing on the technology, the company said it witnesses “record-breaking volume of traffic” across its network during Premier League football matches and during updates to gaming title Call of Duty.

BT’s chief security and networks officer Howard Watson (pictured, right) said MAUD is intended to “build capacity for these peaks”, and told Mobile World Live the company had been researching the technology for five years.

Watson also stated the technology has received “good engagement” from broadcaster BBC, teasing a partnership announcement, but added the company is currently at a phase where it is still testing the industry appetite for MAUD.