The future role of 5G in media and broadcasting

The future role of 5G in media and broadcasting

As 5G deployment gains momentum in 2020, the media and broadcast industry are looking at ways of capitalizing on this next generation mobile technology.

Gartner predicts 7% of telecoms companies have already deployed 5G infrastructure in their networks. So it’s no surprise the role of 5G and its potential for broadcasters has been hyped and explored in recent months.

In an IBC2019 technical paper, authors from the BBC, UK, described trials carried out by the BBC and associated partners in the areas of distribution and content generation using 5G technologies and examined the future role that 5G could have in broadcasting. The 5G RuralFirst project represents the first public trial of 4G and 5G technology for live broadcast radio – a medium for which delivery to mobile devices and vehicles is particularly important.

The authors provide an insight into the requirements for a useable and attractive service and the technical results are being used to inform inputs into standards for future mobile developments.

One core 5G use case that has been highlighted is the role that 5G will play in the wider media streaming architecture. Existing 3GPP Packet-Switched Streaming (PSS) mobile architecture has evolved to carry streaming content through dynamic and adaptive streaming of HTTP (DASH), but this is seen as too limited for 5G.

Technical paper authors from Ericsson, KPN and Qualcomm looked at the work of the 3GPP in developing a new media architecture that includes the features offered by 5G.

The new 3GPP 5G Media Service Architecture (5GMSA) focuses on different collaboration and deployment models between mobile network operators and media service providers. These collaboration and deployment models also cater to traditional broadcasters, which increasingly see the need for high-quality contributions via mobile network, e.g. to cover unplanned or transient events.

5G networks are set to play a vital role in the expected growth of both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Overall adoption of VR technologies has been slower than expected with some industry efforts shifting towards AR, which is predicted to become a much larger market, especially through mobile devices.

5G, as a wireless communication infrastructure, will be able to satisfy the resource-hungry demands (e.g., in terms of required bandwidth and low delay) of new Extended Reality (XR) services and applications. The technical paper written by authors from Nokia Technologies, KPN/TNO and Qualcomm, covers use cases, architectural, protocols and codec aspects for XR systems over 5G networks and their state-of-the-art in 3GPP and MPEG standardization organizations.