Live broadcasting on the move is becoming increasingly important in TV reporting. Professional TV teams are already using mobile backpack solutions that replace SNG- broadcasting vans which weigh tons. The challenge: The live images have to be broadcast smoothly.
Telekom and RTL Deutschland have been testing the system since last year. Now the new product “5G Live Video Production” is going on sale. This new service from Telekom ensures stable broadcasting for live events. As a result, TV teams can transmit their live HD videos streams reliably, even without a satellite connection.
Data-intensive video signals are sent in real time via the 5G standalone mobile network. In order to transmit the high-quality moving image in reliable quality, a virtual network section, a so-called slice, is used in the 5G network. This ensures the necessary bandwidths. This is true even when the mobile network is heavily used. There are no noticeable disadvantages for other mobile phone users.
5G standalone with network slicing in the lead role
“With RTL Deutschland, we reached a major milestone last year. During development, we benefited from RTL’s expertise and experience. Together, we have brought the product to market maturity. We have now also been able to win RTL as our first commercial customer,” said Hagen Rickmann, Managing Director Business Customers Telekom Deutschland GmbH. “Soon, the technology will be offered to more potential customers.”
Matthias Dang, Co-CEO RTL Deutschland: “We are very pleased to be able to drive this development forward as a partner with our extensive live TV know-how and Telekom’s high level of technological expertise. Telekom’s 5G standalone network meets the high demands of TV production. We will increasingly use the technology for live broadcasting in the future. With RTL+, we have already established a successful partnership with Telekom at MagentaTV. For UEFA EURO 2024, we most recently agreed a full production partnership. Our collaboration on 5G live production is now another milestone in technology development and innovation in the German TV market.”
Telekom also wants to connect mobile journalists even closer to their audience, with high-quality videos being broadcast stably in real time using a smartphone or tablet. Network Slicing and 5G Live Video Production are supported on Telekom’s 5G network with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 lineup with iOS 17, and the 11 inch iPad Pro (4th generation) and 12.9 inch iPad Pro (6th generation) with iPadOS 17.
The days are gone when mobile TV production was only possible with equipment weighing several tons. New solutions are more flexible and, above all, lighter. For example, iPhone with recording lights and microphones will very quickly outpace OB vans. With the small and powerful equipment, journalists can broadcast reliably on the go.
With “5G Mobile Journalism,” Telekom offers a solution for professional video streaming. The solution is quick to set up and ready to go right away. It’s that easy for reporters to bring perfect videos to their audience.
This is important, because live broadcasts on the move are becoming increasingly relevant, and not just for TV journalism. 5G standalone and network slicing will play a key role in the future. Whether on RTL or online – in future, images will increasingly come from the 5G network.
Many TV broadcasters still use satellites to go live on air. Less flexible and expensive vehicles are used for this, which usually weigh more than 3.5 tons.
Alternatively, broadcasters can use backpack solutions with transmission units. In the future, a smartphone will suffice. With the help of network slicing, the transmission thus achieves the same performance and quality – all with stable upload speeds. The new devices transmit live videos in HD quality.
What is 5G Standalone?
Telekom entered the new mobile communications era in 2019 with 5G. Here, 5G ensures extremely high speeds of up to one gigabit per second. In the core network, 5G still partly draws on 4G/LTE and brings together the best of both technologies. This technical innovation is called 5G NSA (Non-Standalone).
It has made it possible for Telekom’s 5G to now be available to over 95 percent of the population in Germany. Never before has a new mobile communications standard connected so many people so quickly.
Telekom is currently testing “5G Standalone” (5G SA), the next development stage of 5G. It is completely independent of LTE. All sites in the 3.6 and 2.1 gigahertz bands are ready for 5G Standalone.
Smooth live images with 5G network slicing
During tests, RTL and Telekom‘s technical teams transmitted video signals stably in real time using 5G network slicing. Network slicing is a key feature of 5G Standalone. It allows multiple, virtual network slices. These operate independently of each other. The technology enables the virtual network sections to be given different service characteristics. In this way, they can be adapted to individual needs. For data transmission of TV signals, it is important to have a stable upload speed that does not get out of sync even when the network is under higher load.