LONDON -- Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today announced EE, the BBC, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Huawei are collaborating in to exploring the role that 4G can play in the future of broadcasting. The trial technology, which will be demonstrated on a dedicated stand at the BBC R&D Future of Broadcasting Showcase in the Glasgow Science Centre from 24 July to 3 August, is designed to help deliver high-quality, uninterrupted live streaming to mobile devices, with no buffering.
Live BBC content will be streamed using eMBMS (Evolved Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service), the broadcast mode of LTE. Those attending the showcase in Glasgow will be able to watch the footage on their mobile devices via 4G broadcast. Huawei is providing the network equipment, running over the EE network, with Qualcomm Technologies supplying Qualcomm Snapdragon processors with broadcast middleware and an associated SDK (software development kit) for application development. The goal is to demonstrate the benefits that multicast 4G broadcast can offer compared with unicast steaming.
To help ensure that the trial is done in as accurate an environment as possible, various steps are being taken. For example the network will be heavily loaded to represent a real-world scenario for popular live media. Smartphones on the stand will also be streaming the same live content over unicast to show the difference between unicast and the 4G broadcast on show.
The live content for the trial is in MPEG-DASH format provided by the BBC, sent over an IP link to a Huawei server situated within the EE test labs. The content is then encapsulated within multicast and sent to base stations (eNodeBs), one of which is situated within the showcase at the Glasgow Science Centre where it is transmitted on 2.6 GHz spectrum. An application written by BBC R&D, supported by Qualcomm Technologies’ 4G Broadcast solution comprising of highly optimized LTE Broadcast middleware and a Snapdragon 800 processor with an integrated Qualcomm Gobi modem by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is then used to display and navigate the live streams on handsets. This can be connected to the iPlayer to support the integration of unicast on-demand content with live broadcast streams.