Telstra tests LTE Broadcast tech for more efficient data delivery

Approach is similar to how TV stations deliver video

Telstra has completed a trial of 4G LTE Broadcast technology, becoming the first telco in the world to do so.

LTE Broadcast, or LTE-B, would allow the telco to broadcast one video stream to multiple people at the same time. That approach, which is similar to how TV stations send traditional broadcast video, would be more efficient than the current method in which video is streamed separately to each customer.

Telstra and network partner Ericsson are still evaluating the technology and testing what services might best be provided over LTE-B, according to Telstra's acting director of wireless network engineering, Channa Seneviratne.

Also read: 4G in Australia: The state of the nation

“One of the biggest challenges to mobile network operators across the world is how to manage the ever-growing demand for data,” he wrote on the Telstra blog.

LTE-B can reduce the load on the network for content that many people want at the same time, include a copy of the newspaper, a new OS upgrade or a live feed of a sports contest, he said.

“Traditionally if 100 people in a mobile network cell area wanted this content, we would send out 100 different streams of data – which uses a lot of network capacity,” he said.

“Through our LTE-Broadcast trial, we have today demonstrated that it’s possible to use one stream of data, to deliver the same content to multiple users – keeping the rest of the network free for other customers.”

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