EE demonstrated the first live broadcast with remote production over 5G in London, as the operator gears up to launch the next generation technology in 2019.
Together with BT Sport (the sports broadcasting business of parent BT), EE conducted a live, two-way broadcast over 5G from Wembley Stadium (located to the west of the metropolis) to ExCeL Exhibition Centre (east) where the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum was taking place.
An EE 5G test network in the stadium was employed. This comprised a 5G antenna using the operator’s 3.4GHz spectrum, which connected to a 10Gb/s backhaul. Production of the content generated was handled remotely by a BT Sport team located in Stratford, east London.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, said: “This trial is another showcase of what our 5G network can do and is a big part of our continued investment in using 5G across the whole of BT Group.”
He added the EE Wembley Cup Final 2018, a tailor-made football tournament, will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G. It takes place on 25 November.
BT Sport will use the 5G broadcast technology to increase the level of coverage available to viewers, with more matches and faster highlights.
Jamie Hindhaugh, COO of BT Sport, said: “5G will next season enable BT Sport to deploy the most advanced remote production of any broadcaster. It will allow us to cover more live matches from more leagues and competitions, and to bring fans highlights action closer to the final whistle”.
EE stated it will deploy 5G network slicing technology to create a broadcast-grade network and enable broadcasters to send match footage back to base within minutes, opening up more coverage possibilities and reducing costs.
Analyst Paolo Pescatore, SVP of Consumer Services at MIDiA Research, was impressed with the setup. “The arrival of 5G is set to revolutionise remote production and live contribution,” he noted. “This is a great use case for 5G. It clearly underlines the real life opportunities for 5G.”
Pescatore cautioned that, despite the euphoria surrounding 5G, initial consumer uptake of the next-generation mobile technology will be limited. Therefore the analyst believes telcos will be looking to generate revenue to recoup the investment in 5G of having acquired spectrum and network rollout.
“We believe telcos will focus on specific verticals such as broadcast and media,” he stated. “BT is very well placed given its extensive network and sports content assets.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back