In the future, the new 5G standard is considered to be key technology for highly automated driving or connecting devices on the Internet of Things. In addition, 5G offers great potential for the efficient distribution of media content. The introduction of 5G could create a global market with millions of smartphones and tablet PCs as potential TV receivers that can attractively combine live TV services, media libraries, social networks and many other media services.

As part of the 5G TODAY research project, a 5G test field for broadcasting is currently being set up in the Bavarian region of Bayerisches Oberland. Under the leadership of the Institut für Rundfunktechnik, the project partners are investigating large-scale TV transmission in the FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) mode. Within the scope of the project, the transmission is put into operation and be evaluated.

The FeMBMS specification was approved in the 3GPP (3G Partnership Project) "Release 14" in summer 2017. FeMBMS supports important requirements for the economical transmission of television programmes in wide-area 4G and 5G networks. The improvements include reception without SIM card and without authentication, as well as the option to make up to 100 percent of the transmission capacity available in the new FeMBMS mode for broadcasting applications. Significantly larger inter-site distances allow the use of broadcast transmitter sites for cost-effective area coverage. A pure receive-only mode without the necessity of a return channel was also established in the 3GPP standard, as was the definition of audio-visual transport and coding formats currently used in broadcasting.

In order to implement and evaluate the FeMBMS test field in practice, two Rohde & Schwarz high-performance transmitters (High-Tower-High-Power) with 100 KW ERP will be installed at the Munich-Ismaning and Wendelstein sites (height 1828 m). The two test transmitters will be operated in a single frequency network (SFN) via channel 56/57 (750-760 MHz). The frequencies for the test transmitters are provided by Telefónica, the transmitter locations and the programme content by Bayerischer Rundfunk. The Institut für Rundfunktechnik is coordinator of the project and develops a FeMBMS receiver based on SDR technology (Software-Defined Radio). IRT is also involved in network planning and test field measurements.

From March 2019, the extensive measurement campaign will start to evaluate FeMBMS for use in broadcasters. The findings from the project will contribute significantly to 5G broadcasting. The results support standardisation work and foster further development of components all the way to future market readiness.

The following partners are involved in the project

    IRT GmbH
    Kathrein Werke SE
    Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co KG
    Bayerischer Rundfunk
    Telefonica Germany GmbH & Co OHG

The 5G TODAY project started in July 2017 and will end in October 2019 and is funded by the Bayerische Forschungsstiftung (Bavarian Research Foundation).

Contact: 5G-Today-Info @ irt.de

Kathrein and Rohde & Schwarz partner to advance world's first 5G Test Field for TV Transmission



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