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FEATURE “Nobody controls the whole chain anymore, especially in the IP world, so how can you ensure the quality of service end-to-end?” asks Ratkaj. “The 5G-Xcast group also looked at how you would enable corporate TV news or terrestrial TV networks (DTT networks) and 5G. “It was a small topic in the project but important because if you want to continue delivering linear TV over a terrestrial broadcast network, and at the same time have access to 5G, you need functionalities like handover, synchronisation and dissemination,” he adds. After a final demo in June, and wrapping in July, how will subsequent actions and plans shape up, especially around 3GPP involvement? “There are activities in 3GPP that are related or that are relevant now, but the project itself has no access to 3GPP,” says Ratkaj. “The project is not a member of 3GPP, but a number of the project partners (EBU, the BBC, Samsung, Nokia, etc) are involved in 3GPP and could take contributions and propose that 3GPP does include certain facilities. “But 3GPP is so huge and may have different solutions that are not necessarily compatible or easy to integrate with the 5G-Xcast solution. That standardisation part is still not answered,” he adds. “There is an activity within 3GPP which looks at further improving the current broadcast/ multicast functionality in the standard, but how far it will go is unclear. What we do not expect is a completely new 5G-based standard or a set of specifications for broadcast or multicast in the coming releases.” 5G AS A REVELATION IN PRODUCTION 3GPP looks set to further evolve what it has rather than implementing or developing something brand new in 5G, but right now the broadcast community is very keen on 5G multicast and wants to see it accelerate over the next three years. “That is correct, but for the broadcast community the question is not broadcast, unicast or multicast, but cost. Unicast is not easy to scale, and very expensive if everybody watches on his or her own stream,” says Ratkaj. “In the future everybody will be using 5G networks and we need a one-to-many Mahizer in that

network in order to keep the cost down and keep the quality above a certain minimum.” 5G is a formative infrastructure and it will re-invent connectivity, but the EBU and its public broadcaster membership must surely have experimented with 5G as a production revelation? “We are doing just that, with a lot of exploration. And we have set up a project group around the question of how we can use 5G in content production,” says Ratkaj. “We have not actually completed our own study yet but we have submitted to the 3GPP and it is also looking at the same question. We have identified that the first impact in production will be in newsgathering.” From a technical point of view a single camera/mic link to an agency is a simple use case. “What we have learned is that if you want to have a complex production scenario and use 5G to capture the content this revolves around two situations – a live concert or a live sport event,” says Ratkaj. “For the second you send out a crew with light cameras and rely on connectivity using 5G. If you want a live broadcast the network has to be able to handle multiple audio and video streams in both directions, and we are not there yet with the technology.” There are things 5G cannot do as specified today; involving synchronisation and precision, but 3GPP is trying to formulate the requirements in really dry engineering language before implementing further enablers. “When 5G becomes a reality in equipment in the networks we will see the heavy use in content production probably before we see it in distribution, simply because for delivery you need wide area networks. For production you need local coverage,” says Ratkaj. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN INSTANTLY So there will be different deployment models, with people sometimes wanting to use their own 5G networks in preference to having a mobile network operator involved? Arcidiacono believes there will be lots of areas where it would not make economical sense to deploy the

“The automotive market is looking into 5G and 5G broadcasting for service proposals. This is one area where it could happen fast.” ANTONIO ARCIDIACONO

TVBEUROPE APRIL 2019 | 11

Profile for Future PLC

TVB Europe 63 April 2019  

Get ready, coz here is come - 5G

TVB Europe 63 April 2019  

Get ready, coz here is come - 5G