Telstra bets big on LTE-Broadcast

Telco to offer LTE-B enabled services this year

Telstra will this year launch a range of services based on LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) ahead of a national rollout of the technology in 2018.

Telstra was the first telco in the world to trial LTE-B, which allows the broadcast of video content to multiple recipients over a cellular network in a manner that somewhat akin to a television broadcast. The LTE-B rollout is being conducted in partnership with Ericsson.

Without LTE-B, people viewing video over a cellular network will receive an individual stream, potentially resulting in network congestion — but when taking advantage of LTE-B technology, all consumers of a particular media broadcast will receive a high quality experience even if they are in a crowded area, Telstra says.

“Sporting events and other media will be greatly enhanced using broadcast services and video streaming based on LTE-Broadcast technology,” Telstra CEO Andy Penn said during the company’s full year results briefing in August.

Telstra’s said it will launch its LTE-B offering this year, initially with support for select Samsung handsets. The technology will be enabled in existing Telstra Media services as well as a 24x7 linear streaming channel, Telstra said.

“Ninety nine percent of Telstra’s 4GX sites are already LTE-B capable, with the intention to have nationwide enablement and coverage for LTE-B by 2018,” Telstra group managing director, networks, Mike Wright, said in a statement.

“Telstra’s LTE-B product roadmap will include 24x7 linear streaming, live sports coverage beyond stadiums, pre-loading of popular content, news clips and games highlights. We plan on enabling LTE-B across many devices, and are excited to deliver an enhanced mobile experience to our customers.”

The telco is also rolling out support for Session Continuity, which allows switching between unicast and LTE-B without interrupting streaming. Telstra is also planning to enable Dynamic Switching (Multicast Operation on Demand or Mood), which can switch between unicast and broadcast depending on how many users are consuming the same content in a particular locale.

Telstra this week revealed it is rolling out a media-optimised cloud for carrying broadcast content (the telco has its own broadcast operations centre).

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