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First multi-site 5G broadcast trials deliver Eurovision song contest in Italy, Austria, France and Germany

EBU Member organization RAI opens its doors to the first European multi-site 5G Broadcast showcase delivering the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) live to 5G Broadcast enabled personal phones. Rai in Turin joins ORS/ORF in Vienna, France Télévisions in Paris, and SWR/ARD in Stuttgart, who are also running 5G Broadcasts with live Eurovision Song Contest content. The trials showcase how live content could be efficiently distributed to mass audiences over 5G.

The Eurovision Song Contest, which brings together tens of millions of viewers of the world’s largest live music festival, provides an ideal opportunity to showcase 5G Broadcast. The technology is designed to bring the coverage and reach of broadcast to every mobile device through its use of existing digital terrestrial television transmission networks. Media dominates mobile network traffic and will continue to do so, and 5G-Broadcast helps to seamlessly integrate a one-to-many technology within devices of the 5G mobile ecosystem guaranteeing high quality of service at a sustainable cost. When delivering live content to millions of users it also helps optimizing network resources without dimensioning cellular networks to manage those traffic peaks.

Consumers and journalists in the heart of Turin can have a firsthand look at an advanced live mobile experience at the Rai facilities. Each showcase live streams the Eurovision Song Contest in addition to local EBU Member services and dedicated content for the trials themselves.

Media is only one of several 5G Broadcast use cases. Broadcasters and other institutions and businesses around Europe are also testing 5G Broadcast with a view to using it for emergency warning systems and automotive applications amongst others. Broadcast over 5G is not restricted to linear and live content distribution and enables new potential business models for delivering content or data to large numbers of consumers, complementing the service offer delivered via the cellular 5G mobile network.

EBU Members are assisted by technology providers Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies; Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G; and Ateme, a global leader in video compression, delivery and streaming solutions.

Running throughout the week of events, the 5G Broadcast test transmissions consist of live content produced by Rai in Turin, encoded by Ateme at EBU HQ in Geneva and distributed to SWR in Stuttgart, France Télévisions in Paris, and ORS in Vienna. At each city, transmitters from Rohde & Schwarz will bring the signal over-the-air to test smartphones supplied by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

The 5G Broadcast solution is built on the 3GPP Rel-16 feature-set, operating in a Receive-Only Mode (ROM), Free-To-Air (FTA) and without the need for a SIM card (SIM-free reception). The 5G Broadcast dedicated mode will be demonstrated with a standalone broadcast infrastructure operating within the UHF band. EBU

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