German public broadcaster NDR and transmitter network operator Media Broadcast launched a 5G Broadcast test network in Hamburg on October 26, 2021.
Using the transmitter sites Hamburg-Moorfleet and Heinrich-Hertz-Turm (pictured), live and test content is broadcast on channel K34 (578 MHz), generated at NDR’s playout centre in Hamburg-Lokstedt.
The trial initiated by NDR and carried out in cooperation with Media Broadcast is scheduled to run until the end of 2023. It is intended to provide insights into the performance of this new broadcast technology, in which broadcasting sites and frequencies can be used to reach mobile devices across a large coverage zone, even in rural areas. These could be future smartphones, but also, for example, self-driving vehicles with their displays.
In the trial, the transmission and reception conditions of 5G Broadcast will be analysed using different parameters and subsequently used for frequency and transmitter network planning. Based on this, content offerings will be tested and application examples developed. The partners aim for a close exchange with manufacturers and the other 5G Broadcast trials in Europe.
“It is a fascinating idea that in future, on the basis of the 5G standard, we will be able to combine broadcasting technology with its strengths in the distribution of mass-attractive programming, such as sports coverage, with mobile technology and its strengths in the mobile on-demand use of media content on a single reception device. This is new and opens up a variety of possibilities for interesting offers tailored to the increasingly mobile consumption,” said Dr Uwe Ladebusch, Head of the Programme Distribution Department at NDR.
Verena Schmitz, Head of Strategy at Media Broadcast, added: “5G Broadcast as a potential technology to facilitate the reception of linear TV on mobile devices in particular is an exciting field for us. The implementation of this trial is also an important project for us, especially with regard to the future use of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) spectrum for broadcasting applications.”