During the inaugural European Championships 2018 taking place in Glasgow and Berlin (2 – 12 August), IRT, in cooperation with EBU, have been showcasing their pioneering work within the 5G-Xcast project in shaping 5G for large scale immersive media delivery. A novel and forward-looking concept of using mwobile technology for the distribution of popular audiovisual media content together with add-on services is demonstrated at IRT’s test site in Munich, Germany.

IRT, in collaboration with Bayerischer Rundfunk and Nokia, operates an experimental LTE eMBMS single-frequency-network based on a conventional terrestrial broadcast infrastructure that provides urban and rural coverage across the city and the surroundings of Munich. In 5G-Xcast, the test-bed has further evolved to support comprehensive hybrid broadcast use cases.

In this trial the network uses the eMBMS broadcast capability to deliver live TV content including the signalling for hybrid add-on services. This broadcast can be received by stationary eMBMS-enabled TV receivers as well as by smartphones simultaneously. Depending on the device, either an HbbTV application or a mobile web application complements the user experience making use of the unicast link in the mobile network. This gives an outlook on the coming technology convergence and future capabilities of 5G.

Content, both live and on-demand, comes from the European Championships 2018 produced by the EBU. The network itself has been configured to meet some of the specific requirements of public service media organisations, such as free-to-air delivery and wide-area coverage enabling a cost-efficient distribution to mobile devices in future deployments.

Michael Hagemeyer, IRT’s Managing Director, said: “IRT is happy to provide its eMBMS single-frequency network infrastructure for the European Championships showcase in Munich. The demonstration highlights the opportunities to seamlessly combine linear and non-linear content on stationary and mobile devices. IRT is fully committed to collaboration with the 5G-Xcast partners in developing future 5G technologies for broadcast purposes in production and distribution.

This trial is one of the several trials and demonstrations developed in the 5G-Xcast project that aims to design a dynamically adaptable 5G network architecture enabling seamlessly switching between unicast, multicast and broadcast and exploiting built-in caching capabilities.

Dr. Dr. David Gómez-Barquero, 5G-Xcast Project Manager added: “This showcase demonstrates the value of point-to-multipoint capabilities in mobile networks, especially for a large-scale distribution of the popular content such as premium sports. The 5G-Xcast solutions will help to ensure that such capabilities are available in the future 5G networks”.

About the European Championships

The European Championships is a major new multisport event taking place every four years, which aggregates the existing senior continental championships of Athletics, Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing, Triathlon, with a new Golf Team Championships – all unified under a common brand. Athletics have taken place in Berlin from 7-12 August, while competitions in the other sports were held in Glasgow from 2-12 August.

The EBU and Eurovision Media Services acted as both the broadcast partner (representing European public service media) and the Host Broadcaster (overseeing the overall production of the event). EMS also distributed the event to media organizations for TV and online platforms.

For more information on the European Championships visit www.europeanchampionships.com.

5G-Xcast public demonstrations

  • IBC 2018, Amsterdam, 14-18 September 2018 (EBU 10.F20, Broadpeak 5.B78)
  • MWC 2019, Barcelona, 25-28 February 2019
  • EuCNC 2019, Valencia, 18-21 June 2019