EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) is now waiting “for the starting gun to go off”, as the technology begins to see wider support across the mobile ecosystem, according to Matt Stagg (pictured), head of mobile video at UK operator EE.
Stagg, speaking at Mobile World Congress, said it was a question of when, not if, the market would see widespread LTE-B deployment, with some operators setting their sights on next year.
EE, a pioneer of the technology, was also one of the founding members of the LTE-Broadcast alliance, launched last April, which held its first LTE-B Forum at Congress this year.
Stagg said some of the main takeaways from the event was the technology is already well developed, and it was now a case of increasing the device density and support from OEMs to get it working.
“We had some content providers at the forum as well who were saying we need this technology to augment the customer experience and make use of this, so I think there’s a drive from both ends,” he said.
In particular, Stagg highlighted live sport as the biggest traffic drivers on a mobile, and said major events were causing huge demands in particular areas. In the future, this could cause a problem, at least until LTE-B technology is rolled out.
“People tend to watch sport live. They will ideally be in the stadium or in front of a big screen. And if not they are watching it on mobile and that drives huge demands in particular areas,” he said. “Especially when there is a local derby we see huge spikes in capacities, which while we can support, spectrum is finite and will lead to a degradation in quality unless we roll out the technology. It is also a very efficient use of spectrum.”
With 5G, Stagg expects the media and entertainment vertical to expand. Click here to find out how and why.