Live from CFP Championship: AT&T Set for LTE Broadcast Demo
AT&T Mobility tonight will give a select group of fans at the CFP Championship game at AT&T Stadium in North Texas the opportunity to experience LTE broadcast, the company’s first public demonstration of a technology that takes the existing LTE infrastructure anywhere and allows a portion of the available bandwidth to be sliced off and dedicated to a broadcast service. For sports venues, the technology means the opportunity to deliver live video, audio, and data to tens of thousands of users without requiring a separate “unicast” for each user.
The demonstration tonight will allow fans to select from two live ESPN channel feeds as well as to do a deep dive into statistics. The companies involved with the demo include Ericsson (provider of the infrastructure), Samsung (handsets), MobiTV (the app), ESPN (the content), and Qualcomm (chip technology).
“There will also be two canned ESPN highlight reels,” adds Brad Anderson, lead product manager, AT&T Mobility.
According to Suja John, director, architecture and network realization, AT&T Labs, the system can be deployed via software within the LTE network, and new content can be deployed via scheduling.
You can isolate it to a particular area or time you want,” she says. “The advantage is, if a lot of people want the same content, they can use LTE broadcast without hogging up capacity.” Once the event is over, the network traffic can be allocated back to other uses.
The business model is still evolving, but, for venue owners who are already growing tired of having to constantly refresh WiFi, DAS, and cellular networks to keep up with fan demand for bandwidth, a multicast model should prove appealing.
But the service can be used anywhere, including parking lots, shopping malls, and basically anywhere else that LTE networks are accessible.
“There are a lot of use cases,” says Anderson.
Tonight, the first of those use cases, the CFP National Championship, will have its chance to shine.
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