No TV via LTE in Germany?

MobileTVIt is unlikely that there will be any broadcasts of TV over LTE networks in Germany.

Ulrich Reimers, of the Technical University of Braunschweig and a co-founder of the DVB organisation said this was the view that could be taken from looking at the volume limitations of mobile contracts for LTE use. Reimers was speaking to Germany’s Pressetext at a symposium of the Landesmedienanstalten on Mobile TV.

“Assuming that the surfing speed is throttled at a volume of ten gigabytes, the user could receive per month only about eight hours of mobile TV in standard quality,” he said. The conclusion of the industry veteran: although television is technically possible on LTE, you will not survive in the future without broadcasting systems like DVB. Reimers sees the future in convergent systems of the two camps, LTE and mobile broadcasting.

Despite the advantages of LTE as well as successor LTE Advance with data rates up to 1,000 Mbps, the introduction of technology for television broadcasting remains uncertain. Representatives of the broadcasters fear that the users have to share the bandwidth.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) demonstrated in early January that TV broadcasting over LTE is possible. The LTE network in the Chinese city of Xiamen carried live TV images of a marathon.

According to NSN the network performance remained stable during the half-hour broadcast. It presented neither packet loss nor delays in data transmission. The transmission parameters used to even allow the broadcasting of TV images in HD quality.

Such broadcasts are also possible in other LTE networks. However, the Chinese use a different system, Time Division Duplex, while in Germany Frequency Division Duplex is used, according to NSN.

“Both systems offer sufficient bandwidth for uplink to transmit television. We have already made in various technology demonstrations to prove. The uplink bandwidths up to ten Mbps possible,” said NSN spokeswoman Irene Nie.

But uplink data rates come at a price, as in most cases a TV broadcast will take up the entire bandwidth of a single cell site. “It’s an economic decision by the network operator,” said Nie.