Telekom, RTL Deutschland develop 5G SA network slicing solution


Deutsche Telekom and RTL Deutschland are testing the production of live video content in their 5G standalone network. In the future, high-quality broadcasting will be possible with smartphones over 5G connections. The progress is achieved by a technology called network slicing.

The new technology divides the network into logically separate sections. In the future, such a virtual network slice will allow especially journalists to broadcast data-intensive video signals live from the scene of action. A key feature of the service is that the necessary bandwidths will be technically assured. This even applies to heavily utilized mobile communications cells. Thus, the partners plan to bring mobile TV journalism to a new technological level.

“Thanks to 5G Standalone, the entire TV technology for a live broadcast will fit in your pocket in the future. This 5G solution will revolutionize mobile journalism. With RTL Deutschland, we have an innovative partner at our side for this. We are testing the new 5G solution together and thus taking the needs of journalists into account at an early stage,” said Claudia Nemat. She is responsible for the Technology and Innovation Board department at Deutsche Telekom.

“The development of innovative technologies is an important pillar in our strategy to inform and entertain our viewers and users in the best possible way. Relevant journalism is highly up-to-date and particularly happens on the go. This is especially true for breaking news. Real-time video with 5G makes these mobile TV reports even more accessible. In our tests, Telekom’s 5G standalone network was able to exceed the high demands of TV operations in terms of signal transmission. The network is secure and reliable. And this innovation ties in seamlessly with the use of smartphones. It enables our journalists to focus even more on what counts: reporting independent news from any location at any time,” said Matthias Dang, Co-CEO RTL Deutschland.

With the joint tests, Deutsche Telekom and RTL Deutschland are strengthening their partnership. So far, the focus has been on content around RTL+ and MAGENTA TV. Now Telekom and RTL Deutschland are broadening their partnership and start working on innovative technologies together.

More room for innovative storytelling

Transmitting video signals over a high-performance mobile network boosts the efficiency of broadcasts. The new 5G solution increases the planning reliability of productions substantially. In addition, the technology can be used intuitively and quickly. And it does not require any cables.

Telekom and RTL Deutschland are developing the pilot project in laboratories in Bonn. The partners are currently checking the 5G solution in a test environment in Berlin. A broad range of potential customers in the media sector will benefit from the innovation. This includes event organizers and equipment suppliers, for example. In the future, 5G Standalone with Network Slicing will also enable new and creative real-time formats for influencers on social media.

The broadcast truck for your pocket

Production technology is becoming smarter and more flexible with 5G. Today, in TV reporting, “Satellite News Gathering” (SNG) vehicles are still often used as broadcast vans. Typically, these trucks weigh more than 3.5 tons and are not flexible. Mobile backpack solutions use multiple SIM cards to obtain sufficient bandwidth. To date, however, they have not been able to book technically assured bandwidths. Both means of production also require additional equipment and the support of experts. In heavily utilized radio cells, the backpack solution quickly reaches its qualitative limits.

Virtual networks with 5G standalone

The current tests are running on commercial grade Ericsson 5G Standalone (SA) infrastructure in the 3.6 gigahertz frequency. Network slicing is a key architectural feature in 5G Standalone. It allows multiple, virtual networks in a single infrastructure. The technology makes it possible for each slice to have different service characteristics. Thus, it can be tailored exactly to the needs of the customers. The slices themselves are separate from each other.