What is LTE Broadcast?

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LTE Broadcast is the new trend on mobile broadcast. After australian operator Telstra started to use it, many operators want to get on board and try it. American operators Verizon and AT&T already announced their support, and Korea Telecom is also on board. It looks very nice indeed, but why? Why are the operators interested? What is LTE Broadcast? What can LTE Broadcast mean to the mobile operators?

LTE Broadcast, or LTE-B, allows the Mobile Network Operator to broadcast one video stream to multiple people at the same time. That approach, which is similar to how TV stations send traditional broadcast video, would be more efficient than the current method in which video is streamed separately to each customer. Hence, a new way to make money.

Mobile Broadband users are demanding spontaneous access to video content, a higher-quality experience and more convergent mobile services than ever before. Owing to the popularity and adoption of Smartphone’s and tablets, mobile subscriptions for high data consumption devices are expected to reach 6.5 billion by 2018. Mobile data traffic is expected to grow 15 fold by the end of 2017, driven mainly by video. LTE Broadcast enables operators to efficiently launch media services over LTE to meet this demand.

LTE Broadcast enables multiple users to receive the same content simultaneously. LTE broadcast can deliver the same content to multiple users with the capability to support a virtually unlimited number of users simultaneously, thereby maintaining efficient use of spectrum and network investments. It is set to open new business models for mobile network operators. The solution is a new overlaying architecture with several new network elements offered as a simple to deploy end to end software license. The solution includes a unique end to end implementation of three new standards:

  • eMBMS (Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) – a 3GPP standard, it enables mobile networks to offer broadcast/multicast services.
  • HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding/H.265) – the new video compression standard promises to halve the bandwidth required to transport video content compare to today’s leading implementation of MPEG-4 AVC.
  • MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) – simplifies and standardizes the adaptive delivery of video to consumer devices, ensuring a better quality of service, greater efficiency and introducing opportunities for monetization.

In the following video, Ericsson describes quickly what is it about:

 So, what do you think? In the end it all depends on you, the user. Would you like to use it?
For more info check out Ericsson’s White Paper about LTE Broadcast.
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