Earlier this month saw an important development in 5G broadcast in Central and Eastern Europe.
In what was a barely reported announcement, certainly outside the Czech Republic, the national transmission company Ceske Radiokomunikace (CRa) said that it would embark on 5G broadcast tests from a transmitter covering Prague and Central Bohemia. In doing so, it would use TV and radio content from its partners including Czech public TV and radio and the national commercial broadcaster Prima.
CRa stressed that it is already a leading player in digital broadcasting thanks to the introduction of DVB-T2 and the use of interactive services via HbbTV. It also highlighted the still strong position terrestrial TV occupies in the country’s broadcast market. Indeed, over half (53%) of households receive terrestrial TV, which provide access to interactive services, VOD and TV station archives via the Red Button, using HbbTV technology.
In addition, CRa outlined the advantages 5G broadcast has over other technologies. These include the ability to broadcast to all end devices and its ability to operate alongside existing DVB-T2 networks.
However, the major problem, certainly at this stage, is that there are no devices on the market to receive 5G broadcast. As a result, the predicted commercial launch of such services in the Czech Republic in 2027 looks somewhat optimistic.
Although 5G broadcast tests have already taken place in a number of European countries including Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece and the UK, not many have been in CEE. Indeed, one of the few took place in Russia last year, when the TV channel NTV, working in partnership with MegaFon, broadcast live 5G throughout the country from the St Petersburg Economic Forum (PMEF-2021).
There is certainly strong interest in the potential of 5G technology – a conference on this very subject, organised by the regulator HAKOM, took place in the Croatian capital, Zagreb this week –more 5G broadcast tests are likely to take place across the CEE region in the near future.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com