follow up projects that may extend the values exposed? “We have made a proposal to the European Commission to that end but it transpires that within the current horizon of the 2020 programme there would be no follow up to 5G-Xcast,” says Ratkaj. “But there are several ‘calls’ from the Commission that potentially can pick up on one or another aspect that 5G-Xcast elaborates upon. So we have made a proposal outside of this context to look at all the enablers that would go along the lines (of the 5G layers) mentioned by Antonio.” The EBU had a meeting in Brussels about these extra enablers, alongside Commission staff and companies from the eco-system. Arcidiacono adds: “This is work in progress, and Horizon Europe is intending to invest something in the order of €200 billion in R&D over six or seven years from 2021/2. What we are there to say is help the media and culture industry to deliver solutions that are useful to the citizen. The Commission is interested in what we are proposing, but this is a process, not something said and done,” he adds.
PICTURED LEFT The EBU’s X-cast demo
MANY MOVING PARTS In an earlier discussion about 5G-Xcast, the notion that vendors will eventually have chip sets was raised, so how big is the gap between 5G multicast and vendors seeing a market? “Honestly I do not know. We have talked to Qualcomm, and if you ordered a million chips today you would get them in a couple of months. But the market has not moved, which is the Qualcomm assessment,” says Ratkaj. “When broadcast is wanting this, the mobile network operators are wanting this kind of service, and the network equipment manufacturers are wanting to enable this, the chip sets will arrive. There are so many moving parts, but I cannot tell you if it is two or three years,” admits Ratkaj. Arcidiacono adds: “This is just one element of the value chain. We need to have a set of players from the media markets, and people producing content. It is what we are building together with our members, to offer the market services available on 5G broadcast. “You will see more and more of this happening, and to give a tangible example, the first transmitter (in Munich) is already transmitting what exists today as the specification for 5G broadcasting, and Rohde & Schwarz is building that equipment,” he adds. “More transmitters will be testing 5G broadcast, and our role is conveying big live event content that will familiarise the audience to this kind of facility with the advantage of better quality. What people are buying is the media, not a piece of hardware.” n
TVBEUROPE APRIL 2019 | 13
Get ready, coz here is come - 5G