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EBU calls for 5G-broadcast mode

5G should include a 5G-broadcast mode that allows free-to-air broadcaster to reach users with the need for a specific SIM card, according to public broadcast organisation the EBU’s media director, Jean Philip de Tender.

Jean Philip De Tender

Speaking at a media event in Bucharest, De Tender said that the pubcaster organisation “must try to influence the technical standards, so that it can

be used, not only for delivering internet video on demand services for which the user pays, but it should also enable a 5G-broadcast mode that allows the reception of free to air services.”

He said that the ability to receive FTA TV on 5G mobile phones without a SIM card would help preserve the future of broadcast TV and added that the EBU and some of its members had been involved in work on using 5G for broadcast delivery. He said that the organisation was creating an alliance of companies to work on the technology.

“The user would be able to enjoy high speed connections for both the conventional internet services and the equivalent of both linear broadcast and non-linear services, on the same mobile terminal.  We could watch free-to-air TV channels on any terminal, including smart phone. If we can achieve this, we will have a win-win situation for service providers and users. The question before us today is whether we can persuade standards’ groups to do so, and the network operators and handset makers to include this in their thinking,” he said.

De Tender also warned that “in a 5G world where international-sourced internet becomes more available and lower cost, there may be the risk of national broadcasters being dwarfed by the giant US companies”, leading to “a form of media imperialism”.

He said that public service broadcasters remained “to some extent, guardians of national identity” and cautioned against the abandonment of broadcast, which is usually focused on delivering content at a national level, in favour of an over-reliance on internet delivery.

De Tender nevertheless said that 5G could serve to “increasethe potential image and sound quality that could be delivered to the public”, with UHD TV and next-generation audio potentially serving as “reasons for rolling out 5G”.

Tags: 5g, EBU