• Tim Cosgrove

82% of broadcasters predict 5G will replace satellites for TV access

A recent global survey of TV broadcasters, conducted on behalf of Nevion, has revealed some eye-opening predictions about the role of 5G in providing access to TV. 82% of broadcasters believe that 5G will replace traditional broadcast distribution such as DTT/DTV and satellite. They believe that 5G will be a much-preferred way to access TV than older methods.

What’s interesting is that 37% of these broadcasters also believe that we could see 5G begin to replace satellites in as little as 1 or 2 years. On top of this, 94% of broadcasters believe that 5G will increase the consumption of TV content, making it more accessible than ever. This is because the majority of people prefer streaming content rather than the standard TV channels and 5G is the perfect component to help make streaming easier and faster than ever.

“5G is eventually likely to usurp DTT for consumers” Andy Rayner, Chief Technologist at Nevion, said, “5G technology can potentially deliver OTT broadcast services with the quality required not only for mobile devices, but also for TV screens at home. This could mean, as our research uncovered, that 5G is eventually likely to usurp DTT for consumers at home as well as on the move. In the long term, it is likely that 5G mobile technology could become the standard means to deliver terrestrial television. However, it is expected that both DTT and 5G delivery (when ready) will co-exist for a reasonable time.”

Despite this, DTT and satellite are stronger than 5G when it comes to providing efficient digital linear broadcast distribution. However, as we shift towards more and more people streaming content, 5G is likely to fill that gap. The broadcasters that participated in the survey have acknowledged the challenges. 50% believe that the biggest challenge will be network performance and coverage issues. Whilst 26% see reliability as a concern and 22% worry about security.

Having said this, the majority of broadcasters still believe that these challenges will be overcome and we will begin to see 5G bringing us TV broadcasting within the next couple of years. Rohde & Schwarz demonstrate end-to-end 5G broadcast solution We have already seen information and communications technology manufacturer Rohde & Schwarz demonstrate an efficient 5G broadcast solution. It used a high-power high-tower (HPHT) network topology as an overlay for mobile networks, this makes the transmissions more efficient than ever.

The idea is that this HPHT solution will allow high-quality HD broadcasts and live shows to be shown with minimal latency. On top of this, Rohde & Schwarz has a cell radius of more than 60km for each transmission area, which already solves the coverage problem. As we begin to see solutions take shape, it’s not hard to believe that 5G could be broadcasting our TV channels very soon indeed.

Source: Fiona Leake. 5g.co.uk

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