The EBU’s TR 054 technical report is a deep look at how 5G might facilitate multiple PSM services to portable/mobile devices, and do a better job than QoS with its unpopular coverage and cost issues. Mobile unicast networks are the key fault line, it says.
The report, 5G for the Distribution of AV Media Content and Services, has inputs from right across the media and telecom spectrum. It was co-ordinated by EBU senior project manager Darko Ratkaj, who said: “5G will do exactly the same as the 4G system, just better. It is not a game changer for media, it is an evolution.”
The plan was to look at much more than the technical performance of 5G.
“We need to have the ability to distribute to minimums, and the current cellular networks are not designed to do that, so we are looking at 5G to be deployed on different types of networks including cellular, broadcast towers, and possibly satellite,” said Ratkaj. “That is the 5G-MAG story.
“We were trying to take a longer-term view, and unless you enable the whole value chain and everybody benefits, it is not going to happen,” he added. “What needs to happen is that somebody produces the chip sets that can do 5G broadcast and switch back and forth between that and 5G unicast.”
What follows would be people putting the chip sets into devices, and a market of services that creates that 5G value chain with broadcast and unicast combined.
“Consumers will be watching a very large, popular event, and then something that is small audience. 5G can do both, and it should be transparent and seamless to the viewer,” said Ratkaj.
The EBU also reacted in the report to 3GPP’s first publication on distribution.
“The next thing that 3GPP will do is enable the same functionality in the 5G core network (5GC) as it did for the 4G network, extending the 5G core from having only unicast support to having 5G broadcast and possibly multicast too,” said Ratkaj. “On the matter of using 5G for content production we have proposed a lot of requirements to 3GPP.
“There is a lot of work within 3GPP on 5G networks and live production using 5G technologies,” Ratkaj continued. “If you had a 5G network in a stadium then all the cameras would be wireless.
“We are also looking at private 5G networks. A huge amount of work is work is going on here for places like hospitals,” he added. “EBU is very interested in that kind of 5G network.”
Regarding TR 054, stakeholder collaboration is key. “Ideally, we agree on the technology, and then the services. Let’s not compete on technologies. We cannot afford that,” warned Ratkaj. “There is no 5G momentum yet involving vertical industries, so we are at quite an early stage.”