AT&T LTE Broadcast Video Debuts at College Bowl

ARLINGTON, Texas, AT&T Stadium -- AT&T used one of the more feverishly awaited sporting events of the year so far to unveil its work so far with LTE Broadcast video.

Against the backdrop of the Ohio State Buckeyes beating the Oregon Ducks in the first-ever college football Playoff National Championship Monday night, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) showed off a video technology that it envisages will be frequently used in the stadium environment by sports fans to get video replays, special camera angles and statistics as they watch the game. (See AT&T Kicks Off LTE Broadcast.)

LTE Broadcast is a "one-to-many" technology designed to enable efficient delivery of a video -- or other multimedia -- stream to multiple users. Today, mobile users accessing YouTube or other videos wirelessly download each stream separately, using a lot of bandwidth in the process.

See it in action below:

Broadcast News
LTE Broadcast uses an app on the device to manage the video stream.
LTE Broadcast uses an app on the device to manage the video stream.

AT&T is upgrading its network with the Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) technology from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) that underpins the capability to offer LTE Broadcast. The demo at the stadium used Samsung Corp. Note 3s with chipsets from Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) onboard. ESPN and MobiTV provided the videos for the demo. (See eMBMS: Revolutionary Technology or Alphabet Soup?)

The way the technology allows the carrier to efficiently use and adapt the use of bandwidth is one of the attractions of the technology for Mo Katibeth, VP of global technology planning at AT&T Services. "We can do about six or seven [video] channels per 10MHz of spectrum allocated," he tells Light Reading.

The bandwidth can also be dynamically allocated for LTE Broadcast. So if AT&T wants to offer video streams on game night at the stadium it can do so.

Nevertheless, LTE Broadcast capabilities are still very much in their early days in the US right now. Katibeth says that AT&T is still testing LTE Broadcast and the operator isn't naming a launch date for the service yet.

Verizon Wireless showed off a similar Broadcast demo at the Superbowl in NYC last year. The operator said in the fall that it expects the service is a year away. (See Verizon's 4G Video Freeze Frame and Verizon: Multicast Is 'a Year Away'.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

Phil_Britt 1/15/2015 | 11:40:28 AM
Re: in or out of the stadium As a reformed sportswriter, I think it's great to have access to such video. While the newest stadiums try to have scoreboard video screens everyone can see, that's just not possible. Even if one has a good seat from the perspective of video replays, you can still get people standing in front of you for long periods, have vendors spill on you, etc., so to self service the video a great idea. However, I'm not sure how much a month I would pay for something like this.
DanJones 1/15/2015 | 11:22:57 AM
Re: in or out of the stadium They're still nailing down the exact details. Mo had no details on what they might charge for the service, or how it would work with data caps.
Mitch Wagner 1/15/2015 | 10:36:30 AM
Re: in or out of the stadium It amazes me how professional and college sports has become a showplace for mobile technology.

And that is just about the only thing that interests me about sports.

Except the tubas. That is quite a lot of tubas.
kq4ym 1/14/2015 | 11:24:52 AM
Re: in or out of the stadium A good point, who is getting more views...outside the event or inside? It's still in the early stages but with enough interest by advertisers and/or event promoters it could work out well saving bandwidth and costs for content producers.
sarahthomas1011 1/14/2015 | 11:02:42 AM
in or out of the stadium Nice to see the tech in action. Was it everything you hoped for and more? Interesting that AT&T used LTE Broadcast to send videos to those inside the stadium, while Verizon's went to those outside. I'm not sure where it would attract more interest.
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