Joint research project in Bavaria:Telefónica supports 5G test field for digital broadcasting

Credits: Gerhard-Wenzel
BR transmitter location Wendelstein
In addition to existing projects such as TechCity and "5G Connected Mobility", Telefónica Germany has been supporting another 5G project since the beginning of the year. At the transmitter site in Wendelstein near Rosenheim, a test field for 5G broadcasting in the frequency range around 700 MHz is currently being built. Here, the project participants are investigating how 5G technology can be used in the future to transmit broadcast content on a large scale and economically. To this end, the experts will investigate TV transmission in the 5G broadcasting mode FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service), also over longer distances, around the Wendelstein site from autumn 2018 onwards.

Telefónica participates with 700 MHz frequencies

Credits: Telefónica Deutschland
Valentina Daiber
Among the partners in the consortium are antenna manufacturer Kathrein and test and measurement specialist Rohde & Schwarz. The project is being developed and managed by the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) in Munich as part of the Bavarian research project "5G-Today". The project participants are supported by the associated partners Telefónica Deutschland and Bayerischer Rundfunk, which intends to operate the 5G FeMBMS transmitter network at its transmitter sites. Telefónica Deutschland is supporting this project with its frequencies in the 700 MHz band, as these are ideally suited for long transmission ranges. This will enable Telefónica to use its 700 MHz frequencies for concrete testing of the first 5G applications in Germany. "As a globally active network operator and member of the Next Generation Mobile Networks, we are happy to support the tests for the distribution of media content with modern and convergent 5G networks. For this reason, we will provide 5G-Today with an additional 700 MHz of spectrum if required and thus a 5G frequency band prioritized by the EU Commission," says Valentina Daiber, Director Corporate Affairs of Telefónica Deutschland.

5G can do more than just broadband

The new mobile phone standard 5G is considered a key technology for self-propelled vehicles or devices in the Internet of Things. But 5G can do much more: The standard is equally suitable for the efficient distribution of media content. The introduction of 5G could therefore create a new market segment with millions of smartphones and tablet PCs as potential TV receivers. The users of these devices access live TV services, media libraries or social networks, among other things. Many other media services are conceivable here, possibly even completely new ones. In June 2017, international standardization work in the field of broadcast over 5G was completed with the participation of European broadcasters and the industry in order to efficiently transmit broadcasting services in large-area 4G and 5G networks.

5G-TV:It's all about the combination

Large transmitter cells are combined with small transmitter cells for large-area coverage. For this purpose, the BR site in Wendelstein will transmit TV signals simultaneously with other sites in the Munich area as test radio in channel 56. The first broadcasts are scheduled to start at the end of 2018. Until then, components for transmission and reception will be developed and installed. Here, the antenna manufacturer Kathrein has a special role to play: Kathrein contributes the competence from many decades of experience in the fields of broadcasting and mobile communications. Furthermore, the company already maintains its own test field for 5G antenna technology in nearby Rosenheim. In addition, theoretical preliminary investigations and simulations are carried out. The 5G-Today research project is funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation for a period of 28 months. The antenna manufacturer Kathrein will contribute its expertise from the two fields of broadcast technology and mobile communications.