Live television immediately: RTL and Telekom launch a new project

Deepak Gupta February 21, 2022
Updated 2022/02/21 at 8:47 PM

The TV program has a lot to offer and there are always new films, series or shows to discover. Still, there’s nothing more exciting than that Live TV. After all, a lot can happen in real time and completely unforeseen. But this also requires the necessary technical requirements so that the transmissions run well and stably. This is where RTL and Telekom want to start a new project.

Live television soon thanks to the 5G network

The Cologne broadcaster and the mobile phone provider already have an existing cooperation. For example, RTL Plus is available in many Magenta TV packages. According to a report by Inside Digital, this cooperation is now to be expanded. To this end, both groups want to test the production of live television in the 5G standalone (SA) network.

To be more precise, those responsible would like to use the so-called 5G network slicing in practice for the first time. This should enable reporters to be able to connect directly to the live program running with a broadcastable video signal. The quality should be guaranteed thanks to the new process.

5G network slicing: How it works

At present, journalists still very often work with satellite connections when it comes to live television. To do this, they need extra vehicles and a lot of time in advance to prepare everything – it’s quite a lot of work. Alternatively, there are backpacks from LiveU that already use LTE or 5G. They usually use SIM cards from all networks in parallel, but this does not guarantee a good connection for larger events due to possible network overload.

Network slicing, on the other hand, divides the mobile network into separate areas. In the future, reporters will be able to use a specific section of the network for their work. The bandwidths required for this are technically guaranteed, which means that good transmission is possible in a network that is heavily used overall. In addition, the new process saves time and space: Where previously a whole truck was sometimes necessary, you can now use your own smartphone.

Mobile journalism revolution and more

For the development of network slicing in the 5G SA network, you work together with reporters. In this way, the experts take their everyday work needs into account at an early stage. The process is already being tested in Berlin, but event organizers and outfitters will also benefit from it later on. The new technology should also give new impetus to live streaming on social media.

In order for the project to be able to start on a large scale, however, some infrastructural improvements may be needed: The signals for live television are currently being tested on a 3.6 gigahertz frequency band. And even that might be a little too limited. In Germany there are only 4,000 antennas in 180 cities with such a frequency – that’s still not enough.

In any case, anyone who likes to switch on their television at home can be curious to see whether and which new live formats are possible as a result. Telekom customers are now looking forward to three free months for Apple TV+.

Source: Inside Digital

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