5G Broadcast

5G Broadcast
Written by prodigitalweb

In this current age, 5G Broadcasting has become a game changer because of which new exciting possibilities are seen. While it is considered the future of media delivery, this one is able to scale with reliability & unprecedented efficiency. Internet streaming is now flawed if you try to scale. Any device that wants streamed media needs data from media servers, resulting in a resource-heavy delivery system. If you, as a viewer, add your device to a streamed event, the demand on the web infrastructure becomes more specific. As soon as it reaches a certain tipping point, it affects every user by letting them suffer from a major degradation in the signal quality and the entire experience.  5G Broadcast can fix this issue.

It is a one-to-many technology in which smartphone viewers can receive the live event via the 5G network. These devices are passive due to which your network will not be affected if you add more devices. Therefore, every user can have the same top-level quality of experience & service.

What is a 5G Broadcast?

5G broadcast is a technology in which uncountable users can be reached with a single data stream without losing quality.

How does 5G Broadcast work?

This technology which can enable unlimited users to be reached with a single data stream without compromising on quality depends on the 3GPP. Further, it is evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service broadcast standard or FeMBMS. With the help of this technology, it is possible to distribute linear media content through big radio cells within up to 60 kilometers radius.

Usually, a single data stream uses a high-tower high-power transmitter. Smartphones that are available within the transmitter’s coverage are able to receive the programs distributed through the data stream.

The signal will be distributed to all these receiving devices only once. Therefore, you don’t see excessive network use, depending on the number of receiving devices in every cell. Despite the fact that there are multiple devices, the quality of the programs will not decrease.

3GPP was the developer of the transmission standard FeMBMS. Remember that it is an umbrella term for many standard development organizations. These can produce protocols for mobile telecommunications. You can see the 3GPP standards structured as Releases. The first introduction for FeMBMS was with Release 14 (Q2/2017), which added special features for broadcasters (Enhanced TV (EnTV)). Later, FeMBMS experienced some improvements with Release 16 (Q3/2020), and these are called “5G Broadcast”. These were published as “LTE-based terrestrial 5G broadcasting”.

Key Broadcaster Requirements:

3GPP denotes the broadcaster’s need to allow the distribution of linear & non-linear media services through 5G broadcast.

These are as follows:

Universal access:  Geographical availability, such as national, regional, and local according to the regulatory requirements.

Free-to-air (FTA) access: You can consume content without subscribing to the service provider or network operator.

Defined Quality of Service (QoS): The QoS or Quality of Service is defined by the broadcasting stations themselves via service level agreements like robustness, uptime, latency, etc.

No gatekeeping: PSM content provision for the public without restricting the offered services excessively.

Scalability: For all users, the defined Quality of Service should not depend on the audience size.

Accessibility: Assistance for those with disabilities. For example, adding subtitles, audio descriptions, and signing.

Emergencies: It must be able to reach audiences in a catastrophe or crisis and exceptional cases.

Costs: Universal access & content distribution across nations must be reasonable for PSM.

Critical functions of 5G Broadcast:

The main target of this technology is offering broadcasters the chance to give linear television for phones and conventional televisions using a single chipset. It permits the use of residual capacity in a dynamic way to transmit non-linear content. You should know that this type of use might need a few changes on the regulatory side & further developments.

This technology allows the use of the same media formats to distribute media content like HLS and DASH for content delivery through OTT or the internet. It will enable you to switch easily between distribution channels such as 5G Broadcast & 5G Broadband, based on the Quality of Service & Quality of Experience parameters. As a result, all customers can experience media in the best possible way. In addition, it is possible to personalize the linear content distributed with this technology by extra content distributed through the internet & merged on the mobile devices of the users.

Key Benefits of 5G:

This technology brings new broadcast & multicast capabilities to the whole wireless ecosystem by producing high spectral, energy efficiency and decreasing costs. This network offers many business chances enabling you to connect to a better world. Let’s learn different ways, following which your business can get benefits from 5G technology.

Unleash new opportunities:

We all know how critical is live video distribution. You need to know that the broadcast or multicast over this network isn’t only restricted to linear & live content distribution. It indicates that for network operators & media content providers, a broad range of business models are available to provide content or data to a wide range of consumers, without affecting the cellular 5G mobile network. The venue and automotive sectors are especially suitable for new consumer applications.

A safer, better-connected world:

While the technology concerns new business opportunities, it enables you to commit to a safer world using advanced public safety features. Hence, it makes the relationship between citizens & public authorities simple. You should know the way through which this technology is serving communities around the globe.

Think more dynamic:

This technology gives opportunities to broadcast network operators for creating dynamic infrastructure. Thus, it helps them to find out new distribution features. Besides, it helps phone network operators in offloading heavy streaming & data loads. In this way, it can help to avoid infrastructure overprovisioning. These serve consumers with better service quality and decrease OPEX & CAPEX. Let’s check out the new chances for businesses with this technology.

5G Broadcast is Evolving In Two Distinct Modes:

5G can be assumed as a unified platform connecting different devices, services, & deployments. In Release 16, this technology supports two distinct modes: 5G stand-alone broadcast & mixed-mode multicast.

5G Stand-Alone Broadcast: This popular broadcast-only network depends on cellular networks. It offers broadcasters & content providers access to broader audiences through efficient content delivery to fixed & mobile devices, by addressing their emerging requirements.

Release 16 enhances TV, creating on the new end-to-end system & radio access design in Release 14. It fulfils every technology need that is defined in TR 38.913. This one is possible to be deployed in the UHF spectrum (i.e., 470 to 698 MHz), which broadcasters have access to already. The design enables you to use the cellular modem building blocks again.

5G Mixed-Mode Multicast: It refers to a new 5G capability in phone networks. While this one is compatible with dynamic switching between unicast & broadcast modes, it improves system capacity. Stand-alone broadcast and mixed-mode multicast  can continuously evolve in Release 17 and beyond. Thus, it helps to boost system performance & expand into new use cases such as IoT & public safety communication.

5G Broadcast is Garnering Global Interest for Commercialization:

Support for this technology has grown a lot across the mobile ecosystem. Over twenty-five 3GPP members are cosigning the Release 16 Work Item and exemplifying this technology. 5G MAG, or 5G Multimedia Action Group, is a cross-industry organization, set up in 2019. Now, it has 40+ active members across the media sector, which is responsible for promoting 5G broadcast’s commercial adoption. Several 5G broadcast trials have been conducted, and new trials are getting planned which can set the stage for virtually rich media content delivery to the 5G devices.

As the 5G network will become advanced in the future, it is necessary to anticipate the requirements of broadcasters, content providers, operators, and users. 5G broadcast helps to address these requirements and can expand its support in new applications.

5G for Acquisition:

The use of MNO cellular networks isn’t new for acquisition. The advanced network benefits data rate & latency to enable 4K UHD.  According to Cellsmart’s mid-2022 “Global Cellular Performance” study of real-world conditions, the uploading speed of the 5G network showed an increase of 55% to 31.27 Mbps compared to the 4G global average. The download speed of 5G is 241.61 Mbps.

Rob Waters Says:

Rob Waters, a global director of sales at Dejero, said that the advanced network is prioritized for downloading content as upload speeds are not increased that much. Also, Rob said that it is the lowest latency for the 5G bonded systems despite having the highest bandwidth where many antennas are available as a strong weapon.

Dan Pisarski, CTO at LiveU, said that some tricks are still available up 5G’s sleeve. The fixed deterministic latency of the 5G protocol is an overlooked gem. Latency can go downward to below 10 ms from 60 ms with MEC or multi-access edge computing. You should know that the challenge is the whole latency budget. It is possible to boost redundancy if you add a bit more latency. It can offer interesting apps for broadcasters.

Cellsmart Study

According to the Cellsmart study, cellular frequency can significantly  affect upload speeds. Although results are taken in different areas with mmWave, you can find various results like downloads over 800 Mbps, uploads over 250 Mbps & latencies of sub 10 ms. Paul Shen, TVU Network’s founder and CEO, said that the upload speeds rely on your current location. You can’t notice 5G mmWave deployment unless you are not in a populated area. No financial incentive will be presented in Suburban & rural areas for telcos to use mmWave. Moreover, a few 5G versions with sub-6 Ghz deployment use spectrum like 4G/LTE.

Although LiveU, Dejero, and TVU follow various technologies for 5G network, these three have one thing in common. Operating 5G is basically the same as operating 4G for the end user. These three are interested in 5G from similar populations. Shen said that both 4G customers who exist already and those who are producing sports in 4K, have a strong look at 5G.

Also, Shen added that the existing customers have started observing degradation in performance using 4G in mission-critical situations. Waters echoed this sentiment. The existing 4G users want to upgrade & future-proof themselves. Although 5G is unable to provide all benefits now, it will deliver the more it will be rolled out in the future. In addition, instead of choosing satellites, sports producers are willing to use 5G. TVU networks 5G is capable of providing greater reliability than satellite with 5G at over 95% vs. traditional satellite at 90%.

Pisarski Says

Pisarski said that adopting new technologies is great news. Another consideration is seen for top-profile events, and it is a private 5G stand-alone non-public network (SNPN). Shen said that a Millimetre wave is actually a broad spectrum. Therefore, mobile operators are able to dedicate service to a private network on an ad hoc basis. According to Shen, it was done for an 8K project.

Water Says:

According to Waters, the easiest network to set up is private networks. As no wire runs there, you will get a very short setup time. Pisarski said that apart from MNO-based SNPNs, there are other private networks, but it isn’t the only one, and most are available in trial phases. A real private network indicates someone who has their own hardware on an accessed frequency.

Pisarski indicates CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service), a spectrum between 3.5 and 3.7 GHz. The spectrum & SIM cards are possible to be leased from licensed 3rd parties which is called a priority access license or “PAT.” Otherwise, using unlicensed GAA or General Authorized Access is possible that is subject to the most interference. According to him, the required items are a popup antenna and some computers to run the network.

5G for Distribution:

In this case, 5G broadcast plays a crucial role. 5G broadcast is not the best term to describe how you can use the network for distribution. So, what does 5G indicate the technology or the device? You should know that MNOs’ 5G are unicast networks. Therefore, you can see a difference between “a connected device” which sends requests for data that need to be downloaded and multiple connected devices which are streaming content at the same time. If you connect more devices to a 5G cell downloading data, every device gets less bandwidth. Because, these need to share the unicast data capacity. You can use an ATSC 3.0 (aka “NextGen TV”) receiver chip to enter 5G broadcast from DTT broadcasters to 5G devices.

 Mark Aitken Says:

Mark Aitken, the senior vice president of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group and president of ONE Media, said that in recent times, the number of commercial mobiles containing an ATSC 3.0 chip is 0%. However, ATSC 3.0 is expected to be available on billions of devices that need data related to mobiles, cars, etc. Aitken knows what ATSC can bring to the quality of life. He has a Mark One Android smartphone evaluation sample containing an ATSC 3.0 receiver chip, letting him see stations broadcasting ATSC 3.0.

A chip is needed that should live in a mobile, with its operation and the power requirements. Efficient web app coding is required for it in order to draw less power & to run on lower level devices. Watching an ATSC 3.0 station is as simple as you tap on an app. Sinclair includes an open-source app, while NextGen Broadcast App is another one. You can get frequently updated weather, news, or other content from stations along with live TV.

ATSC 3.0

Aitken says that the ATSC 3.0 receiver app is A/344 of the ATSC 3.0 standard. This one is nothing more than a uniform ATSC 3.0 browser with HTML5. As per the standard, a broadcaster app is used for indicating the functionality embodied in a file’s collection. This collection has an HTML5 document called the Entry Page. In addition, it includes HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, image & multimedia resources, which the document references both directly or indirectly — a broadcaster in an ATSC 3.0 service is responsible for giving all.

Aitkin said that Sinclair’s application is equipped with the same features as TV sets that have ATSC 3.0 tuners. But it is adapted to the minor screen with gesture swipes & wipes for navigation. It is all about a more ideal user experience. Graziano Casale, the senior sales manager for transmitters at Rohde & Schwarz, agrees with Aitken that consumers will have an improved quality of experience, and it is all about this. He said that its 3.0 version plays into the 5G ecosystem and vice versa.

Although ATSC needs an extra chip, the [MNO] 5G broadcast technology is available on the same chip. Casale means “5G Broadcast/Multicast,” and at IBC 2022, R&S and Qualcomm demonstrated this. However, it isn’t available commercially. UHF spectrum is used to broadcast to 5G mobiles. Hence you need to know that ATSC 3.0’s 6 MHz is not compatible with those which are in the current 3GPP 5G specification.

DTT spectrum

5G Terrestrial Broadcast is able to share the DTT spectrum to offer other services. 3 MHz of spectrum to an MNO can help to deliver media from the transmitter using the 5G chipset which already exists in smartphones. Obviously, it will leave you 3 MHz for actual television, and this one could be a 720p signal.

However, 3 MHz has to offer even more in the 3.0 future. Manufacturers & MNOs are willing to use a 3.0 chip in 5G smartphones & other phones. It is necessary to do more work on 3GPP & a reason for MNOs for leasing the spectrum. Regarding 5G for broadcasters, it relies on what you are willing to do and when you want to do it.

5G at the Coronation:

In order to aid the work of broadcasting partners, the biggest temporary private 5G network was spun up during the coronation of King Charles. The impact of natural strain was nullified by this on standard phone communications networks for witnessing this historic event. Neutral Wireless is a company that engineers at the University of Strathclyde make, which executed the project getting support from the BBC’s R&D department.

It can offer over 1 Gbps of bandwidth. Besides, broadcasters like BBC, ITN, and Sky (twenty in total) used this. This one indicates the fruit of a University of Strathclyde team belonging to the IBC Accelerator program, named the Project of the Year 2022 because of its “network in a box” 5G solution.

In addition, it is also a part of the University of Strathclyde, and this one is named “proof of concept” trials, including shooting over 5G around the 2022 Denmark national elections. There are many streams from the Pitlochry Highland Games. In Amsterdam, these were directly broadcast into the IBC show. A particular use case or idea is always pinpointed by the proof-of-concept projects. According to the reports, a team over in Italy has presented the true scope of an application of 5G broadcast.

Private 5G Network:

A private 5G network was used by media broadcast for running football matches in Bonn, Germany. The team used phone data to hook up four broadcast cameras & a roving interview camera. A latency of 200ms is achieved by them with the full encode & decode path. A maximum of 20 HD-quality camera feeds are estimated to be deployed over the advanced network. The demonstration belonged to the partnership with video encoding specialist Haivision.

It focused on ultra-low latency video transport. Coventry University launched the “UK’s first 5G Stand-alone Media Innovation Lab” with Vodafone in April 2023 in the United Kingdom. This project evaluation started in 2020 to power the body’s VR tours using 5G. Dr. Shaun Hides, Academic Dean at the university’s Faculty of Arts & Humanities, says that their academics and students get an excellent chance to actively take part in the innovation which drives forward the creative industries.

5G as a Medium:

These 5G broadcast production experiments dig into the possibilities of this advanced network. According to Malcolm Brew from the University of Strathclyde, these go beyond the basics of connecting pieces of the capture pipeline, even including events where these connections are important.

Malcolm Brew Says:

He said that it is impossible to stream live video onto the Nine O’Clock News or capture 4k HDR video. However, users can have many ancillary things around the wireless camera. In addition, they could get microphones, tally lights, different timecodes, generators, genlock, and lighting control. Every peripheral is supported by it.

Brew said that suppose you have security, barcode ticketing, and organized sixty thousand people. Hence, you need to ensure that they are coming to the correct turnstiles. The special thing about this 5G network is that you can have a network where everyone’s available. These are on the same network that might enable production to speak to Security. Then, it enables Security to access production camera feeds. It is much cheaper if you have a network and control service quality.

5G R&D Trial

We can use 5G as a medium to communicate between devices. It does not matter if the bandwidth needs are large or small. How you use private 5G networks allows this to happen instead of the way of congestion the consumer-accessible 5G network in that area. It doesn’t need any fresh equipment in all cases. BBC’s Ian Wagdin explained during an IBC2022 how the 5G R&D trial viewed the traditional broadcast cameras, which are created using small circuit board PCs.

He said that people are getting latency of around 150-180 milliseconds, and as per reports, it is impressive. It is getting looked at how users can drive it down. The reason is that as soon as you get below that magical 100ms layer, it is possible to intercut this with wired cameras.

Do you want to know about 5G productions versus 5G broadcasts? In a production environment, 5G’s use is only one face of the technology. On the other hand, 5G is the actual medium of broadcast. A demo was displayed by Rohde & Schwarz during the MWC 2023 show in February. Its collaboration with Qualcomm helps to examine how 5G broadcast should be used to aid in emergencies. It depends on public information alerts & multimedia content to those who have access to compatible mobile phones. It does not need the end user to have a standard 5G signal. Besides, it does not need the users to have a SIM to be installed on the device.


This same partnership has explained 5G broadcast of the 2022 Eurovision song contest, which was live in Paris, Turin, Stuttgart, and Vienna. Italy’s national broadcaster RAI, which is a more recent development, began the first 5G broadcast trials in March 2023. Besides, 360-degree ballet Footage from the Teatro Massimo of Palermo was seen broadcasting to VR headsets in locations over 5G. A true test is represented by XR & VR to get a stable 5G streamed experience.

All 5G broadcast initiatives don’t need to focus on experiential use cases. CRA, which is the Czechia telecommunications company, announced the technology’s second stage in May 2023. In Prague, Zizkov & Strahov transmitters allow you to test to check if broadcasting TV is viable to regular folks’ mobiles to democratize user access to content. CEO of CRA Milos Mastník told Broadband TV News that this technology helps to bring viewers their favorite programs to tablets & smartphones except using phone data. Besides, compared to the current technology, 5G broadcasting is more ecological & economical. For IBC’s 2023 Accelerator program, the two chosen projects are embedded in 5G technology.

5G Motion Capture

5G Motion Capture for Live Performance & Animation needs to generate “video illusion,” which can represent live performances to separate venues over low-latency networks. Intense sports like MMA will be broadcasted by Real-Time XR Sports Edge within a 3D mixed reality game world and merge video of a real event using a simulated environment. It is expected to listen to more about IBC’s Accelerator program projects during IBC2023. It will occur at RAI, Amsterdam, from September 15 to 18.

The challenge that is continuously getting faced around 5G is that it is constantly evolving. Unlike the older phone standards, this network has been via many iterations, which creates a gap between the available hardware and the standard’s latest theoretical version. It indicates that a few elements of 5G are available to use today, like higher bandwidth. Other elements need to be added to the chipsets.

Organizations can harness 5G benefits using the latter ‘private networks‘ by creating the networks in a limited area across a studio complex or sports stadium.

The adopter benefits are substantial and allow the latest hardware to be reached, without the need to wait for the wider public rollout.

When it comes to discussing 5G, the complicating factor is that it isn’t actually a static specification; rather it is a list of ‘Releases’ where every factor adds additional functionality to the base standard. It indicates that manufacturers & early adopters started to roll out, whereas the standards body thrashed out the standard’s finer points.

3GPP 18:

The 3GPP works actively on Release 18, dubbed ‘5G-Advanced’. After that, Release 17 was being scheduled for final ratification in Q3 2022. On the other hand, 18 will span into 2024. The last 5G ‘New Radio’ Release is marked by Release 17. It provides many key interest enhancements, mainly 5G Multicast broadcast, advanced interactive services, multimedia priority service (MPS), and NR extended Reality (XR).

Remote production is an early and exciting 5G use case. It is a more efficient method of creating live sports, news, entertainment, and events coverage than traditional outside broadcasts and it enables broadcasters to deploy fewer camera operators to events. In addition, it allows staff to work in many events, which are placed in a centralized studio. 5G was very important in the IBC 2022 Accelerator programme with different projects.

Remote Production Featured in this Accelerator Project:

Play Video: broadcasters designed this for getting an inside track on multi-camera remote production abilities, possibilities, and challenges during the 5G deployment phases. An accelerator looked at 5G’s role in Location-Based entertainment experience in extended realities in 2021 or the advanced technology in Location-Based eXtended realities (LBXR). This one is designed to test the way 5G’s low latency and provision of edge computing is able to amplify the crucial aspects of technical feasibility, inclusion, etc., or the Location-Based eXtended Realities.

Let’s know about the live sport with 5G VISTA & FeMBMS. The technical feasibility of using FeMBMS was demonstrated by the 5G VISTA project to boost live sports experience in the middle of 2021. Hence, you should know that the term FeMBMS stands for Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service technology. It is an ongoing project collaborating with The Digital Television Group with O2 Telefonica, Digital Catapult, Global Wireless Solutions, and Rohde & Schwarz.

Mark Smith Says:

Mark Smith said in the week’s Tech Expert that the pending could impact and provide advantages of 5G to broadcast, media, and entertainment. 5G VISTA helps to explore 5G Broadcast through the 3GPP standard FeMBMS. David Owens, Telefonica’s head of technical trials, explained to IBC 365 that it can solve a few of the crucial challenges of providing live sporting events. According to him, Live sporting events can offer a real challenge for phone operators. A lot of people on match days are seen in a stadium, and it creates a huge demand for data.

At these key moments, it is hard to stream and post content. As a result, customers can be dissatisfied. The reason is that 4G & 5G networks depend on a TCP-IP service to stream data in a unicast way.

Ownes added that a single source to a customer isn’t suitable for high-demand apps in high-demand areas. It can cause both perception and physical problems. Services which create extra revenue are impossible to implement.

A live trial was successfully completed by the VISTA project in February 2022 at a football match in the MK Dons stadium in Milton Keynes. It allows a group of fans to use the 5G Vista application to access content. 5G technology was used to send the content, and it was integrated into the TV broadcast network. It lets fans see replays in the stadium along with the key moments that they have missed.

Why Are Broadcasters Interested?

 You should know that Broadcasters do not have their own spectrum. Their licenses, which are granted by the FCC, need to be renewed periodically. However, according to Christian, 5G technology can help broadcasters to boost the spectrum to which they have access.

While the technology helps first responders, it alleviates congestion of wireless networks in live sporting events when people want to see the game on their smartphones. Phone networks using one-to-one transmissions can be overwhelmed if many users try to see the same thing simultaneously.

But broadcast can easily handle the traffic as it is a one-to-many transmission technology. However, regarding how 5G broadcasters earn, Christian or Copsidas were unable to get into specifics. Copsidas said that it is a new platform about which people have many ideas. But currently, it is necessary to stick to the proof of concept. Christian was also asked if wireless carriers are worried about competitors from this technology. He said that it might be advantageous to all. Therefore, they do not see those groups in competition. According to him, 5G broadcasting might make congestion simple on wireless networks.

ATSC 3.0:

 For doing the creative ideas with the spectrum, 5G broadcasting isn’t the first idea that broadcasters have. A low-power TV station is conducting the trials of this broadcasting, whereas the full-power TV broadcasters migrate to ATSC 3.0. This one is a new technology called NEXTGEN TV.

ATSC 3.0 is expected to offer many advantages. It enables broadcasters to enhance the number of channels on a broadcast stick. Therefore, they can have 9 or 10 channels on each stick rather than having 4-5 channels like 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, etc. Moreover, they can introduce interactive TV elements into the broadcasts using this new technology. Moreover, it gives the ability to target emergency alerts. Christian said that they preferred this 3.0. But the drawback is that it is unable to be picked up on phones. When Copsidas was asked if full-power TV stations wanted 5G broadcasting, he said that he didn’t know anything.

Internet connection not required for operation:

 Reception of content without the internet is another important feature of FeMBMS. You should know that the Free-To-Air feature is crucial for public broadcasters who are willing to reach their customers without any restrictions. However, for phones that enable the broadcast reception from HTHPs (high-tower high-power) with SDO (stand-alone downlink only) technology, it is essential to have adapted chipsets.


This article lets you know about the 5G broadcast. Still, if you have any confusion or doubts, let us know via comments.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between broadcast and multicast?

Multicast indicates: sending data from one source host to a specific group of hosts. On the other hand, broadcast sends a data packet to all the hosts that are available in the same network.

What is the range of the 5G signal?

A 5G small cell ranges from 50 to 2,000 feet (15 to 600 metres) during the transmission of high-band or mmWave spectrum, while no obstruction is assumed.

Is multicast faster than broadcast?

Broadcast is able to produce huge traffic, slowing down the PC system. Compared to broadcasting, multicast can produce less traffic, increasing the speed of the system.



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