DTG secures government funding for 5G stadium broadcast initiative

The UK’s Digital TV Group (DTG) has secured government funding to develop a 5G-based platform to broadcast events in stadiums and other venues. 

The funding was secured in partnership with Digital Catapult, Global Wireless Solutions, O2, and Rohde & Schwarz. The project has an overall funding of £2.3 million, with £1.3 million coming from the UK’s government as a part of its 5G Create innovation competition.

The body and its partners will utilise the emerging mobile technology to provide spectators at events such as live sports and music concerts with enhanced interactive viewing experiences directly to their mobile devices. The initiative will use 5G broadcast also known as FeMBMS – further enhanced multimedia broadcast multicast service.

Announcing the launch, the DTG said that “The objective of the consortium’s VISTA (Video In Stadia Technical Architecture) project is to test and demonstrate consumer benefits and technical feasibility of using 5G FeMBMS technology.”

The DTG added that the project brings together complementary skills from the mobile media delivery ecosystem, with partners ranging from device makers and mobile networks to content makers and venue operators.

The project also has an eco slant to it, with the DTG saying that it will demonstrate how 5G broadcast can reduce carbon footprint by reducing the number of base stations and the amount of spectrum needed to deliver content to mass audiences.

Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister said: “5G presents a huge opportunity to enhance the stadium experience for sports fans with seamless access to multi-angle video, replays and stats. Project Vista is one of several high tech projects the government is funding to seize the full benefits of 5G for the UK, and I look forward to sharing the lessons learned with the UK’s wider live events sector.”

Alex Buchan, Strategic Technologist at the DTG said: “The efficient nature of 5G delivery and the low impact on data usage of broadcast technology will mean that it becomes viable to deliver more content, though more channels and to more devices. Leading to increased fan engagement with teams, an ‘all access’ opportunity for viewers, and increasing the appeal of sport across generations.”

Derek McManus, COO, O2 Telefonica said: “We are excited to play our part in the development of this ground-breaking initiative; working with industry specialists to create something innovative and exciting that will not only enhance our customers’ experience at events but add a whole new and exciting dimension to live sports. Programmes like this which harness the power of next generation connectivity, create fresh opportunities that benefit customers and businesses while helping to boost the economy.

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