The trial, which began transmissions in early July in Munich, Germany, uses evolved Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (eMBMS) software running in Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations, which are deployed widely in many LTE networks worldwide. The Nokia LTE equipment is deployed at four sites of the Bavarian public broadcaster, Bayerischer Rundfunk, in Northern Munich. The sites are connected by a high performance optical transport network.
The use of a Single Frequency Network, where all base stations use exactly the same frequency, is able to maximise the number of channels carried over a large geographical area.
“Today, when watching videos over a mobile network, the content is individually streamed to each user. With LTE Broadcast the same signal is received by many users at the same time, resulting in more efficient capacity and spectrum use,” said Hossein Moiin, chief technology officer, Nokia Networks. “Spectrum doesn’t need to be dedicated to either broadcast or broadband, but can be used flexibly for both according to users’ needs. We believe that LTE Broadcast is a technology well suited to distribute TV and broadcast services and will help us expand the benefits of mobile internet to everyone while evolving the TV viewing experience.”
Current LTE Broadcast applications focus on delivering media content to contained locations, such as stadiums and concert halls, over limited periods of time. The Munich trial is the first to apply the technology on UHF spectrum, using part of the 700 MHz band to broadcast over a 200km area. To maximize the efficiency of the LTE Broadcast, the SFN has been optimized for tighter synchronization of neighbouring cells to increase interference robustness. The trial aims to show that LTE could be used to complement and in the long run, even provide another option to regional digital TV distribution standards, such as DVB-T in Europe.