The Eurovision Song Contest – a large scale, televised concert with fireworks, dancing and pop songs – continues to captivate audiences of nearly 200 million viewers around the world. This year’s ESC22, hosted in Torino, is a special one as it witnesses the latest cutting-edge multimedia distribution solution, 5G Broadcast, which brings the live concert to mobile phones.
The live event will be produced and distributed to selected mobile devices by Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana – the national public broadcaster of Italy – using the latest broadcast and multicast technology: 5G Broadcast. At the Rai Television and Radio museum in Torino, CRITS (the R&D arm of RAI) will make the live demonstration via an end-to-end 5G Broadcast-ready system, offering visitors a totally new live mobile experience.
In order to deliver the live show via a full end-to-end 5G Broadcast/Multicast streaming demonstration, RAI teamed up with Rohde & Schwarz – a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies – and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. – the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G. Running throughout the show, the demonstration will showcase Broadcast/Multicast capabilities over 5G where the live encoded content is transmitted by RAI in Torino using a 5G Broadcast signal over-the-air to smartphone form-factor test devices from Qualcomm Technologies.
Rohde & Schwarz’s end to end 3GPP compliant 5G Broadcast solution is the selected choice for the European countries broadcasting ESC22 live to their audiences in Italy, Austria, Germany and France. It comprises of the 5G Broadcast enabled R&S TLU9 transmitter and the Broadcast Service and Control Center (BSCC2.0) acting as a broadcast/multicast core network.
The 5G Broadcast solution is built on the 3GPP Rel-16 feature-set, operating in a Receive-Only Mode (ROM), Free-To-Air (FTA) and without requiring the device authentication on a mobile network. The 5G Broadcast dedicated mode will be demonstrated with a standalone broadcast infrastructure while operating within the UHF band.
“We are opening the way to the exciting world of 5G Broadcast and the unrivalled user experience, new revenue opportunities and innovative service models that it brings,” commented Manfred Reitmeier, vice president broadcasting and amplifier systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “Our ongoing collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and now CRITS shows what can be done with the technology here and now and we are proud to bring a live 5G Broadcast/Multicast experience to audiences during Eurovision.”
Lorenzo Casaccia, Vice President of Technical Standards, Qualcomm Europe, Inc., commented: “We are proud to have worked with the EBU, RAI and Rohde &Schwarz to bring a new viewing dimension to fans of Eurovision. Eurovision is not only about what is happening on the stage but what is happening in the greenroom, in the audience, in the locations submitting votes and is the ideal vehicle to showcase 5G Broadcast’s capabilities. This exciting activation is another important step in the R&D development of 5G Broadcast.”
Gino Alberico, Director of RAI Centre for Research & Innovation & Experimentation, said: “5G broadcast enables broadcasters to offer users in mobility free-to-air TV contents with high Quality of Service. Thanks to the possibility to use conventional high-power terrestrial broadcast network infrastructures, wide area coverage is possible at reduced cost, independent from the number of users, who can access TV content without consuming their mobile data budget”.
5G Broadcast offers network operators and broadcasters opportunities to create exciting consumer experiences across a range of new and existing business areas – all while enabling high spectral efficiency and reduced costs.
Broadcast/Multicast over 5G is not restricted to linear and live content distribution. For network operators and media content providers it offers a completely new range of business models for delivering content or data to large numbers of consumers and without affecting the regular cellular 5G mobile network. Venue and automotive sectors are particularly suitable for new consumer applications while the high power / high tower infrastructure offers emergency services and national authorities more secure ways to deliver public messages during natural disasters or emergencies.