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Qualcomm partners with Deutsche Telekom for LTE trial

Hot on the heels of its LTE broadcast trial with Vodafone Germany, Qualcomm has teamed up with Deutsche Telekom to collaborate on a on its first LTE Direct operator trial in Germany.

LTE Direct is device-to-device technology that uses LTE spectrum and infrastructure and can be used by operators across a range of applications – including social searching, venue-specific services and push advertising.

The upcoming trial will use devices from Qualcomm and Samsung and rely on LTE Direct-enabled base stations, with Qualcomm claiming that the collaboration could reveal new market opportunities for mobile or further existing services.

The news comes a day after Vodafone Germany announced that it partnered with Qualcomm, Ericsson and Samsung to conduct the first live LTE broadcast test by a European carrier.

The trial took place over the weekend at football team Borussia Mönchengladbach’s stadium, ahead of this week’s Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

LTE Broadcast is designed puts no additional load on the network, allowing smartphone users in device dense locations to watch TV channels in high-quality. Vodafone Germany said that LTE Broadcast could soon be available in further German stadiums as part of its network modernisation programme.

Speaking to DTVE at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Qualcomm’s senior director of marketing, Peter Carson, said that the Vodafone trial follows similar early LTE broadcast tie-ups with KT in Korea, Verizon in the US and Teslstra in Australia.

However, he stressed that LTE capabilities go far beyond live broadcast: “It’s about any content that is common, that multiple users want at the same time.”

“If you think about OS updates and apps updates on popular operating systems, this could be an incredible saving in terms of network efficiency to deliver those updates,” said Carson.

“Also breaking news. If you have an earthquake or a tsunami, people try to get the news now on their mobile device, which tends to congest the network in times of crisis. If you set the thresholds for traffic to a certain level, then when you have a high number of requests to certain news sites you can automatically switch to LTE broadcast, and again the cost of delivery is significantly lower.”

Carson said that, increasingly, sponsored connectivity agreements between companies and operators becoming more feasible and more valuable.

“It has to be a part of the business model, because if the content is shifting, or at least being shared on the mobile device, that’s where the advertising revenue has to shift,” he said.