Providing video content to customers could be done far more efficiently with broadcasting technology than using 4G unicast streaming, which tends to gobble up capacity and disrupt services in busy cells. That could make eMBMS especially useful at major venues used for concerts and sports events.
Although previous mobile broadcasting technologies have vanished without a trace, the prospects for eMBMS look much brighter.
For one thing, it can be integrated with the existing 4G network and does not require dedicated spectrum, according to Peter Carson, a senior director of marketing with Qualcomm, which is collaborating with EE on carrier aggregation and eMBMS.
It also works in a more dynamic fashion than its doomed predecessors, which would send broadcast signals even if customers were not watching the content.
As with higher-speed 4G services, one of the main issues right now is a lack of eMBMS handsets, but a growing number of operators globally appear to be getting behind the technology.
Ohio State University may have won the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship, but AT&T scored big as well by offering its first demonstration of its LTE broadcast technology during the game at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The carrier, along with partner MobiTV, used AT&T’s 4G network to broadcast two ESPN video streams from the game to multiple devices simultaneously. This included replays from multiple angles and a data stream that featured constantly updated feeds of stats and trivia.
LTE Broadcast technology alleviates pressure on scarce spectrum resources by enabling data destined for multiple users at the same time - such as news or software updates - to be multicast over a single spectrum allocation. There have been numerous trials but a year after launch the world’s first commercial network, in Korea, remains alone.
Using a capability that is unique in the auto industry, Elon Musk last week tweeted that over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades would soon come to its P85D Model S sedans as the cars sat in garages and driveways around the world.
While Tesla Motor's powertrain upgrade via OTA software may be a first, it's a feature that most automakers are hoping to adopt because it will improve customer satisfaction and slash costs.
In fact, consumers soon may consider it outrageous that they must either download to a thumb drive or travel to a dealership to have their vehicle's software updated. Imagine having to go to a retailer to upgrade an application on your smartphone or tablet.
Like a smartphone, the car is quickly becoming a consumer electronic mobile device - the largest one. And OTA upgrades will be standard.
Claude Seyrat's insight:
Verizon announced at CES 2015 that FOA updates for car is one business case for LTE Broadcast
Samsung Electronics, a leading provider of mobile broadband networking solutions, today announced significant upgrades to the feature set of its award-winning Smart eMBMS solution, designed to bring important network quality enhancements to operators, with a particular emphasis on an improved video experience.
Smart eMBMS employs a dynamic cell activation algorithm which detects when multiple users in a cell are unicasting the same video content from select sources. When the number of users reaches a certain threshold in a given cell, that cell's eMBMS will activate, switching users automatically and seamlessly to the broadcast stream. This frees up critical spectrum resources for other uses within the cell, and ensures that each user gains access to the same high quality video experience.
Sling TV hasn't changed much since we saw it unveiled at CES, but starting Tuesday, Dish will begin sending out the first invites for its over-the-top internet TV service. For $20 (and without any commitments or other gimmicks), you get a smattering of channels led by ESPN that can be streamed live anywhere; when you're mobile, you can watch Sling TV on your smartphone, tablet, or PC. At home, it'll work with set-top boxes like Amazon's Fire TV, Roku 3, and the Nexus Player, along with Microsoft's Xbox One console and Samsung TVs. Within a couple weeks, Sling TV will be ready for its full-fledged consumer debut, and I've just spent a few days testing the service to see if it's indeed worth making a switch from cable.
The Space Internet venture, to which Musk hasn’t yet given a name, would be hugely ambitious. Hundreds of satellites would orbit about 750 miles above earth, much closer than traditional communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit at altitudes of up to 22,000 miles. The lower satellites would make for a speedier Internet service, with less distance for electromagnetic signals to travel. The lag in current satellite systems makes applications such as Skype, online gaming, and other cloud-based services tough to use. Musk’s service would, in theory, rival fiber optic cables on land while also making the Internet available to remote and poor regions that don’t have access.
US broadcast station owner New York Broadband has selected Boeing Satellite Systems International for negotiation of a contract to build a new high-powered L-band satellite that will support mobile multimedia services to China and other Asian markets planned by CMMB Vision of Hong Kong.
New York Broadband (NYBB) recently acquired the AsiaStar satellite, located at 105 degrees East orbital, and its associated L-band spectrum rights. The new satellite, NYBBSat-1, will replace the AsiaStar spacecraft at that location when it is launched in mid-2017. The launch vehicle is being procured separately.
One of the drivers for thinking about LTE Broadcast – or, to use its technical name, eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) – is the increasing video usage on the networks. In 2013 video accounted for about 40% of all mobile data traffic, but that will rise to somewhere between 66% and 70% by the year 2017. Video consumption is growing. And the way a video would normally be delivered at the moment, if you’re watching a YouTube video for example, is you’re going to be effectively seizing a dedicated circuit to deliver that piece of content.
Total mobile video traffic in the next six years will be around 17 times that of last six years, according to the latest Ericsson mobility report.
The global research, published ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, claims that two-thirds of app data traffic over mobile networks comes from just five of the most popular apps in each country studied, with video streaming and social networking dominating.
While Facebook was found to be the number one app in each country studied, mobile video “dominates traffic growth”, with Ericsson forecasting it to grow by around 45% annually through to 2020 when it will account for around 55% of all mobile data traffic.
“Prominent factors driving this rapid growth include increased number of video-enabled devices, larger screens, and better picture quality. Another prominent driver is that video is becoming an increasing part of online content, such as news, adverts, and social media. Video is increasingly shared via popular social sites, such as Twitter,” said Ericsson.
The research claims that accumulated mobile data traffic for video was 25 ExaBytes during 2009-2014 and will rise to 440 ExaBytes for 2015-2020. Total mobile data traffic will climb from 70 ExaBytes to 860 ExaBytes over the same period of time.
Breaking down mobile traffic volume in a few key markets, Ercisson said that in the US in December Facebook accounted for 16% of mobile traffic, followed by YouTube at 15% and Netflix at 12%. In Spain the most popular apps were Facebook and Instagram with 20% and 13% of traffic respectively.
The Mobility Report claims that 800 million smartphone subscriptions were added worldwide for full year 2014, taking the total number to 2.7 billion. This was up 40% from a total of 1.9 billion smartphone subscriptions in 2013.
The study also noted a decline in the numbers of people watching broadcast TV, at the same time that streaming services gain more traction.
“This year for the first time more people will watch streamed on demand video than broadcast TV over a weekly period in those markets. Drivers for this change include the advent of 4G technology, the growth in smartphone and tablet usage, and a shift in consumer behaviour towards easy-to-use, on-demand services that offer cross-platform access to content,” said Ericsson.
The leading provider of cloud services for delivering, optimizing and securing online content and business applications, today announced the formation of a new business unit intended to design and develop new technologies to directly address the needs of mobile network operators (MNO) and mobile device manufacturers. The new organization, headed by Vice President and General Manager, Lior Netzer, was created to serve as a center of excellence for inventing, incubating, and launching new mobile products designed for mobile networks and device manufacturers; as well as develop new mobile edge technologies intended to enhance and differentiate existing Akamai products through tighter integration with mobile networks.
The first regular-season home game for the San Francisco 49ers in their new home, Levi’s Stadium, produced more Wi-Fi traffic and far more actual fan-to-network connections than the most-recent Super Bowl, according to statistics from the Niners’ tech team.
Dan Williams, vice president of technology for the 49ers, said the Levi’s Stadium Wi-Fi network carried 3.3 Terabytes of data during Sunday night’s game between the Niners and the Chicago Bears, topping the 3.2 TB mark reported from Super Bowl XLVIII in February. According to Williams, out of the 70,799 that filled Levi’s Stadium Sunday, more than 30,000 fans connected to the Wi-Fi network at some point, with peak usage of 19,000 fans all connecting at one time occurring just before the 5:30 p.m. local time kickoff. According to the Super Bowl stats, the peak number of fans on Wi-Fi at that game at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey was 13,500.
TV watching isn't just for the home anymore. About 25 percent of pay TV subscribers watch TV out-of-the home, according to recent research by the NPD Group. Fortunately for FiOS customers, Verizon's FiOS Mobile App is adding Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Spike and 20 other Viacom channels to its out-of-home lineup. This addition brings 88 the number of live channels FiOS TV customers can watch on the go. To date, FiOS customers have spent more than 125 million hours using the FiOS Mobile App.
Flash Networks, the leading provider of mobile Internet optimization and monetization solutions, announces the release of Harmony 7.5, its Mobile Internet Services Gateway. A key differentiator of this new version is the ability to accelerate and optimize encrypted data without violating user privacy. Based on operator trials, Flash Networks has successfully demonstrated the ability to self-detect congestion in real-time and increase download speeds by 50% for all types of traffic, including encrypted traffic. The system can also be deployed as a virtual network function (VNF) and can be integrated into software defined networks (SDN).
With the introduction of 4G, LTE, and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks, speed has become the main service differentiator for network operators. At the same time, due to privacy concerns, more and more mobile Internet traffic is encrypted, making it hidden to many optimization solutions. Harmony 7.5 includes smart optimization, which boosts downloads and browsing speeds for all networks, including 300 mbps LTE-A networks.
More and more operators are turning to virtualized architecture with software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) that offers service agility and operational and capital savings. To address this trend, Flash Networks has developed an optimization and monetization solution that supports virtualization. Harmony 7.5 has been successfully used to optimize traffic in a live trial as part of an SDN topology, integrated into existing network functions and sharing the same hardware.
"Harmony 7.5 helps operators win the speed race to be the fastest network, saves network and radio resources by optimizing data only when needed, and optimizes 90% of protocols, including encrypted data, all on a virtualized architecture," said Liam Galin, President and CEO of Flash Networks.
Harmony 7.5, along with Layer 8, Flash Networks' monetization solution, will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress, March 2-5 in Barcelona, Spain at Flash Networks' stand (5D60).
To meet the massive increase in demand for high-quality digital content on mobile devices, mobile network operators, service providers and device makers are adopting LTE Broadcast. This session presents a case study presentation from Verizon Wireless, discussing the role of LTE Broadcast/Multicast
Claude Seyrat's insight:
One of the best high level presentation of LTE Multicast/Broadcast I have seen by Jack Arky from Verizon.
High-tech Warriors: Building tomorrow's basketball arena (pictures) The Golden State Warriors basketball team uses Apple's iBeacon technology in its stadium and connects its fans on social media while preparing for a new sports complex.
Twitter is developing a new video ad unit to support its soon-to-launch native video tool, according to marketing executives briefed on the initiative.
While details are still being hammered out, Twitter is apparently leaning toward a “pay-for-play” cost structure. It would include a six-second preview video that automatically plays in user feeds and the option to click to view the entire video.
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