• Some 92% of broadcasters expect to adopt 5G within two years 
  • Remote production identified as the main use case for the wireless technology 
  • Survey finds only 46% of broadcasters have tested 5G’s capabilities 

EE 5G Remote Broadcast with BT Sport2

Remote production has been identified as one of the key reasons broadcasters are looking to adopt 5G technology

Source: BT Sport

An overwhelming majority of broadcasters say they will adopt 5G technology within the next two years, with remote production identified as the most popular use case for the technology.

According to a survey, 92% of respondents expect to adopt 5G within two years, comprised of 39% within a year and a further 53% inside two years. 

As broadcasters explore 5G’s potential use cases, almost two-thirds (65%) would consider adopting it for remote production, while 61% would consider using it for distribution as a potential replacement for DTT, satellite or cable, according to the global poll of broadcasters conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Nevion. 

While broadcasters are mainly considering 5G for remote production, only one-fifth (20%) think 5G’s ability to provide a more portable and flexible primary link for (some) outside broadcast production is its biggest benefit. 

The survey also found that 94% of broadcasters think that their country has the infrastructure ready to adopt 5G. However, only 46% of broadcasters said they have tested 5G’s capabilities within their organisation. 

Nevion chief technologist Andy Rayner said: “Even though the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet, 5G’s use for remote production could be extremely beneficial in the future beyond connecting cameras to the local outside broadcast production facility. “It can, for example, serve as a flexible way to take signals from the venues or locations back to the central production facility.” 

According to a report released by the EBU earlier this week, 5G could meet the distribution requirements of both public service and commercial broadcasters. However, there are significant structural barriers that will need to be overcome to realise the potential of 5G. 

The EBU concluded that technically 5G Broadcast could fulfil many broadcaster requirements for the distribution of linear services to portable devices. It highlighted the need for dedicated spectrum and noted that 5G Mobile Broadband is, in principle, well suited to unicast delivery of nonlinear services although universal coverage will take a long time to achieve. 

Rayner added: “It’s positive that broadcasters are expecting to move forward at pace with 5G. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before it can be implemented into live environments, and given the current climate worldwide, testing and developments may have slowed down.  

“Over the next year or so, it will be a case of broadcasters looking in earnest at the potential of 5G in the value chain and testing the technology’s capabilities within their organizations – something over half of broadcasters are yet to do.”