The broadcast into BBC Breakfast this morning saw BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones cover the launch of the UK’s first 5G network from Covent Garden.
What viewers missed was that Cellan-Jones’ report was carried back to BBC New Broadcasting House over the same 5G network featured in his report.
Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology and Product Officer at the BBC, said: “This is an excellent example of how the BBC experiments with cutting-edge technology to improve how we make programmes. 5G is a hugely interesting area for us to explore, with potential to reduce the cost and complexity of outside broadcasts, and as a way of delivering content to audiences in the future.”
It’s anticipated that the internet will play an increasing role in the production and distribution of television content.
Alex Tempest, Managing Director, Wholesale at BT said: “We are delighted to demonstrate the power and innovation that 5G can bring to the media and broadcasting industry through our trial with the BBC. Whether on the street, in a stadium or on location, 5G provides a new dimension that can deliver the speed, efficiency and reliability that outside broadcasting requires. And gives broadcasters the ability to deploy equipment quickly and with ease, without having to worry about the connection.”
4G network links require multiple connections to provide the capacity to carry the live video feeds. In this 5G trial only one connection was needed, reducing both the complexity and cost of the production.
To make the trial possible, specialised 5G modems were connected to BBC News cameras to take advantage of the new 5G network.
The BBC is also involved in the delivery of broadcast content over 5G in Orkney as part of Cisco’s 5G RuralFirst initiative.