In Broadcast - September 2020 - 44

44

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 10 - Issue 9 | September 2020

InStudio

Bonded Cellular and
5G Simplify Live Remote
Broadcast Production
As broadcasters aim to deliver superior-quality video content for
live news and event coverage, data costs continue to rise.
Ronan Poullaouec, CTO at AVIWEST, talks about how bonded
cellular systems help to resolve this issue, and the advent of 5G...

B

efore bonded cellular techniques
were developed, the primary
ways that broadcasters delivered live
sports and events was via satellite,
ENG or mobile production trucks. The
drawbacks of using those distribution
methods is their cost, as well as the
length of time required to set up the
satellite links.
Fast, Efficient, Available
Using bonded cellular techniques
changes the situation for broadcasters
in several ways. First, it means they
can receive bandwidth anywhere in
the world. Ericsson reports that in
2018, global LTE population coverage
was about 74% and that 5G is forecast
to be used by about half of the world
population by 2025. In other words,
cellular networks are widely available
around the world and can become a
great resource for broadcasters.
Ronan said: "Second, certain aspects
of cellular bonding increase the
efficiency of live video production.
Bonded
cellular
systems
are
lightweight, portable and mobile,
making them simple and quick to set
up in the field for a live event. After
a bonded cellular modem has been
set up, broadcasters can manage live
video transmissions from anywhere
globally. Any issues that arise in the
field can be resolved from a remote
master control room and therefore,
fewer people are needed onsite.
"Moreover, bonded cellular enables
broadcasters to deliver live news and

sports with sub-second latency by
bonding together multiple unmanaged
cellular networks, thereby achieving
the bandwidth needed for broadcast at
a reduced cost." In managed networks,
resources would already be allocated
between different cell sites, limiting
inter-cell communication.
Gathering Speed
The first professional live video
transmission systems using cellular
networks appeared more than 10
years ago, using the 3G networks
that existed at that time. Although 3G
networks only afforded low speeds
and limited coverage, that fact did not
prevent the emergence of professional
live transmissions. These systems,
based on the use of several 3G
networks, have not only revolutionised
live content production but also
enabled news channels and content
producers to create live content under
conditions where it would otherwise
have been impossible.
When the first 4G networks arrived,
the number of live productions
on cellular networks increased
significantly. Over time, the use
of bonded cellular transmission
systems has also grown, including
transmissions
for
sports
and
entertainment TV channels that earlier
on hadn't thought it would be possible
to produce live content on cellular
networks while maintaining their
quality requirements.

operate their own network in critical
environments or locations, such as
stadiums and event spaces."
Network slicing allows multiple
virtual networks to be established on
common, shared physical hardware.
Distributors can then customise the
virtual networks to meet specific
requirements of their applications,
services and devices, and their
customers or operators. In effect, it
will mean broadcasters can still deliver
a competitive quality of service in
situations where the public network is
totally congested.
Other important developments such
as multiple access edge computing,
or MEC, will enable the emergence of
new transmission services with very
low latency for cases where quick
response time is critical. MEC moves
the computing tasks for traffic and
services - analysis, processing and
storage - from a centralised cloud to
the network edge, that is, closer to the
customer. The goal is to reduce latency
and allow real-time performance for
high-bandwidth applications.
Ronan also considers that private
5G networks will allow media and
broadcast professionals to focus
5G connectivity on isolated needs
in specific locations, such as inside
buildings or outside in demarcated
areas. "It's possible this will replace
unreliable WiFi set-ups with a more
powerful,
reliable
5G
wireless
infrastructure," he said.

Evolving with 5G
"5G networks are expected to
bring many improvements to the
current bonded cellular transmission
scenario," said Ronan. "Gigabit speeds
and a reduction in transmission
latencies are the initial advantages
broadcasters can realize from 5G. In
the future, new developments will
appear, such as network slicing, which
will allow media organisations to

Building Bonded Cellular Systems
Typical bonded cellular systems
comprise a camera, tripod and
cellular backpack. When choosing
this approach, Ronan recommends
that broadcasters look for several key
capabilities to make sure their video is
delivered at the expected quality.
"Having a strong encoder is
critical," he said. "Through encoding,
broadcasters can reduce the bitrate

needed for high-quality live video
delivery. Today, H.265 and HEVC
are the prominent codecs used, and
VVC is expected to be completed as
a next-generation standard in 2020.
HEVC gives a 50% improvement in
bandwidth efficiency compared with
H.264, while delivering the same video
quality. When VVC arrives, it promises
to decrease the bitrate needed for live
video delivery by an estimated 30% to
50% with the same perceptual quality
as HEVC, but with an estimated 10
times or more encoding complexity.
"Beyond
standard
encoding
capabilities, live broadcast delivery
applications
require
specialised
processing like adaptive bitrate and
low latency encoding to preserve the
quality of experience for viewers on
every device. Forward error correction
(FEC) and Automatic Repeat reQuest
(ARQ) are essential to support reliable
transmission over congested networks.
With the greater value that 5G will
bring to the broadcast environment,
having bonded cellular equipment that
that supports it is also important."
The global COVID-19 crisis has
exacerbated the demand for remote
production. The impact of 5G on
remote broadcast production is
expected to be significant, helping to
facilitate installations and reducing
costs. Ronan said, "In the future
when 5G networks are relied for live
video delivery, broadcasters will also
increasingly rely on bonded cellular
systems for their efficiency, cost
savings and ease of set-up.
Ronan said: "By combining bonded
cellular
systems
with
modern
encoding, techniques like FEQ and
ARQ, along with 5G connectivity,
broadcasters
and
other
video
distributors can deliver live news,
sports and events coverage with
greater efficiency, higher quality and
cost-effectiveness, from any part of
the world."


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In Broadcast - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - September 2020

Contents
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Intro
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover1
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover2
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Contents
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 4
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 5
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 6
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 7
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 8
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 9
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 10
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 11
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 12
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 13
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 14
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 15
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 16
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 17
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 18
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 19
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 20
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 21
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In Broadcast - September 2020 - 26
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 27
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In Broadcast - September 2020 - 31
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In Broadcast - September 2020 - 43
In Broadcast - September 2020 - 44
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In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover3
In Broadcast - September 2020 - Cover4
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