The comments come in a new EBU Technical Report that examines the possibility of delivering broadcast content and services over LTE networks.
“Costs are a crucial factor that defines the suitability of a system for the distribution of TV programmes, in particular if LTE were to be considered as a replacement of the current DTT networks,” says the report. “It has been suggested by the mobile industry that the delivery costs of providing broadcast services over LTE may be reduced by an efficient combination of unicast and eMBMS capabilities and as a result of economies of scale that could be achieved.”
The study includes the first-ever jointly conducted study by broadcasters and the mobile industry focusing on the capability of a mobile broadband technology to enable the use case important to broadcasters. Examples include watching linear TV on a tablet either at home or on the move.
The study covers technical information around the capability if the LTE eMBMS system with an emphasis on broadcaster requirements. Unsurprisingly, EBU members are particularly drawn to the possibility of free-to-air services.
In principle, says the report, LTE eMBMS could run broadcast services without further development. But it adds non-technical aspects such as operational scenarios, regulatory conditions, business models, and costs, need to be better understood before any conclusion can be drawn. The areas are now the subject of a separate report by the EBU project group CTN-Mobile.