LiveU, L.M. Ericsson, Nokia Demo Dynamic 5G Network Slicing
The first of its kind demo sent live video over dynamically set up 5G slices using single and bonded modems
HACKENSACK, N.J.—In a notable advance in the transmission of live video over 5G networks, several tech partners joined forces to trial live video transmitted over 5G slices that were automatically and dynamically set-up according to real-time analysis using single and bonded modems.
The partners involved were LiveU, L.M. Ericsson, Nokia, and the University of Patras (UoP), under the Horizon Europe 5G-Solution project.
The partners involved in the trial noted that one of the most promising mechanisms in 5G Stand-Alone (SA) networks is “slices”.
In essence, this is the ability to provide as high performance as possible, or QoS, to authorized users, end-to-end within the cellular radio and Core network, they explained. This means that QoS-centric applications, such as live uplink video transmission for event coverage – from news to sport and beyond – have a higher probability of receiving the needed QoS for ultimate signal stability on location.
Achieving this outcome raises, however, several important tech questions, they noted. How can these slices be allocated and managed and how can the 5G cellular operator provide the QoS level it guarantees to multiple broadcasters over a specific slice in a certain location?
“One of the technical obstacles to the wide deployment of slices is the static/fixed allocation of resources (spectrum, QoS within the network borders), and dynamic, per-demand management of slice allocation,” explained Baruch Altman, head of 5G Technology Projects at LiveU, said, This has not been automated yet. Hence the theoretical 5G benefits for remote production at scale have up to now not been fully realized.”
In this trial, transmitting over 5G slices that were automatically set-up according to real-time analysis was achieved using several LiveU multi-cam LU800 field units and a network management process called Zero-Touch-Automation (ZTA), LiveU reported.
Each unit transmitted up to four independent camera feeds simultaneously by bonding multiple modems, networks or slices. One of which was a slice specially configured for broadcasters’ uplink video contribution. The ZTA mechanism dynamically allocated in real-time 5G slices according to LiveU units’ transmission needs and the network overall load.
The ZTA mechanism, specially designed by Ericsson, identified in real-time changes in the network performance resulting from the increased upload demand, the companies said. It then notified the network management orchestrator (CDSO, by Nokia), which drove the reconfiguration of the network (deployed by UoP) by setting-up a special upload-oriented slice.
Modems in the LiveU units automatically identified the newly available special slice, started using it, and LiveU bonding algorithms began transmitting live video packets using this dedicated slice. Bonding this slice with the “best-effort” slices or commercial networks allowed each of the LU800s to transmit four video streams concurrently and at a high quality, with stable bandwidth and latency. Bonding special slices, in real-time, with other modems, networks and bandwidths was instrumental in maintaining video continuity and overall QoS throughout and to reduce the spectrum needed from the new slice, the companies said.
This trial further demonstrated that even with adaptive ZTA of dedicated “guaranteed performance” slice allocation, bonding transparently and agnostically multiple modems, networks and slices is needed so that broadcasters can enjoy the highest level of video quality and reliability in these congested areas, under changing conditions and over any network configuration.
“These pioneering tests demonstrated how remote production can benefit from real-time, adaptive 5G/6G end-to-end dedicated slice allocation with the highest QoS possible,” explained Altman. “Currently, only cutting-edge solutions like LiveU’s field units can make optimal use of such advanced 5G capabilities and convert them to immediate value for the customers, while supporting network operators’ need for efficient operations. This collaborative achievement emphasizes again LiveU’s leadership at the forefront of 5G technology development for its broadcast, sports, government and other customers.”
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.