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China Unveils New 5G Broadcast Trials

China Mobile has partnered with telecoms vendor ZTE to deliver China’s first 5G broadcast of a live sporting event.

The Shanxi Branch of the state-owned telco used ZTE’s 5G Live TV solutions to broadcast the 2nd National Youth Games of China from Taiyuan in Shanxi.

The broadcast used ZTE’s Digital Intelligent Indoor System 5G QCell solution to cover multiple venues, including the main stadium. The feed included multi-angle views, flexible zooming and free viewpoint.

The solution also used technologies including MEC and low latency coding to reduce live end-to-end latency to less than a second when shown over IPTV.

IPTV subscribers of the Shanxi Branch of China Mobile were also able to access the real-time multi-angle UHD live games on the IPTV platform, watching the high-definition game from four different viewing angles, thereby providing subscribers with a customized game watching experience.

The broadcast was part of ZTE’s strategic cooperation agreement with the Sport Bureau of Shanxi Province, Shanxi Radio and Television Station, and the Shanxi Branch of China Mobile, which was announced in May.

The announcement came as the number of 5G broadcast trials around the world has been growing. In China itself two public institutions – the Academy of Broadcasting Science (ABS) and China Broadcasting Network Co. Ltd. (CBN) – have announced plans to set up a 5G broadcast trial in Beijing.

The two groups, which both fall under the purview of the Chinese National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), will set up three stations operating in a single high frequency, using transmitters provided by Rohde and Schwarz.

The stations CCTV Tower, Jing Guang Center and Ming Ren Square are around 10km away from each other and will carry out a number of tests including field strength propagation, network coverage, mobility reception and application possibilities.

CBN was granted a commercial 5G license of 4.9GHz with 50MHz band in June 2019, with a trial of FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) identified as the next logical step by NRTA.

The trial will see Rohde & Schwarz utilise some of its experience gained as part of the 5G Today project in Bavaria that has been on-air since December 2018.―IBC

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