5GTN enables efficient mobile streaming to large audiences

National 5G projects co-operate in showcasing the delivery of the Finnish broadcasting company Yle´s live TV channels in mobile wireless network. For the first time in Finland two areas are lit up, and selected commercial smartphones are enabled to receive live streams in Oulu and Espoo 5G test networks using evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) technology.

eMBMS brings benefits to every party involved. With eMBMS Content Providers can transmit high quality videos to larger audiences, and at the same time operators can free spectrum. It means less congested networks and better Quality of Service for every users.

“Most importantly, those Formula 1 or Ice-Hockey finals will not crash at mobile anymore due to peak traffic congestion. In fact, research shows that networks not leveraging broadcast waste a massive amount of spectrum for delivering the most popular content!”, says Mikko Uitto, Research Scientist from VTT.

Studies show that mobile traffic will grow by at least eight times in the next five years, and video is the largest contributor to this growth. For example Finns consume already over 10GB of data per month, for which video streaming takes the largest share. In parallel, the number of connected things will double in the same timeframe which means even less bandwidth for everyone to go around.

eMBMS is widely regarded as a savior technology that allows service providers to deliver more services more efficiently, and to economically cope with the traffic growth the market will live to see in the next few years.

eMBMS offers also new chances for new business. This includes national emergency alerting and critical communications delivery to police forces and fire departments, connected cars to exchange critical information such as speed and location in real-time, and operating system and application updates to prevent security breaches and hacking. All these cases demand networks with higher reliability which is now feasible with broadcast.

“Our objective is to be part of the future media delivery development and 5G networks will be part of this. Digita is actively developing head-end, the CDN and Transmission side of 5G broadcasting. We are currently planning to set up a HTHP (High Tower, High Power) eMBMS pilot in the capital region in Finland in the spring 2019”, says Henri Viljasjärvi, Business development director, Digita.

“Yle aims to ensure that our content is available and easily accessible across all networks and all kinds of user terminals and platforms. Our goal is to offer the best public service media experience to the Finnish people and to be the most important media in Finland. In order to reach that goal we also need to be a bold innovator, as it is stated in our strategy. With 5G network broadcasting we can reduce production implementation and costs, while maintaining the broadcast quality and reliability”, says Olli Sipilä, CTO from the Finnish broadcasting company Yle.

“We aim to provide a platform for innovation and co-development using 5G technologies. We take a pragmatic approach to make the technology easily available to researchers, start-ups, SMEs and others to untap their creativity and design new forward thinking applications and services”, says Jose Costa Requenafrom Aalto University.

“5G offers ample opportunities to introduce new novel services. Turku University of Applied sciences is focused on developing and trialling 5G technologies for new services together with the industry, and media distribution is an important component”, says Jarkko Paavola from Turku University of Applied Sciences states.

The technology used for these projects is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The end-to-end eMBMS solution into 5GTN is provided by Expway, a company specialized in eMBMS IP broadcasting over 5G. “Expway provides its eMBMS solutions to leading operators and device makers around the world. We are delighted to provide a similar end-to-end solution, for the benefit of this Finnish 5G eco-system as well. In fact I could not think of better place to showcase it, as no other folks in the world are as data-hungry at mobile, as the Finnish folks are!”, says Ulla Saari, VP Business Development of Expway

The demonstration is part of a multidisciplinary co-operation of 5G research projects, TAKE-5, WIVE and 5GTN+ including the companies in the media (YLE) and network technology (Digita, Expway and Nokia) industries and research institutes (Aalto University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland). The projects are part of the national 5thGear programme and the 5GTNF ecosystem, funded by Business Finland. This ecosystem aims to help Finnish companies with their 5G business operations.