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Ericsson/Qualcomm Demonstrate LTE Broadcast at Mobile World Congress

I wrote about the potential for the use of LTE in broadcasting exactly a year ago in my March 1, 2011 RF Technology Column. This technology is now being demonstrated at the World Mobile Congress 2012 in Barcelona this week by Ericsson and Qualcomm. Content is "broadcast" to many users simultaneously with one multicast stream using "evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services" (eMBMS) over LTE networks.

Johan Wibergh, executive VP of Business Unit Networks at Ericsson, said, "Video will be the driver of traffic increases in mobile broadband networks. Driving the LTE broadcast ecosystem is a way to ensure a quality user experience."

Peggy Johnson, Qualcomm's Executive VP and President of Global Market Development said, "We believe that eMBMS will become a key component in addressing the exponential growth in mobile multimedia and application download traffic. Our focus is now on integrating the full eMBMS capability and service enablers in our LTE chipset product portfolio, paving the way for upcoming commercial eMBMS deployments."

A method of transforming the U.S. TV broadcast system to a form of eMBMS over LTE has already been proposed by The Coalition for Free TV and Broadband Some modification of LTE/3GPP transmission standards will be required to make it work what has been called a "broadcast overlay" consisting of a high power transmitter and multiple lower power sites to fill in coverage. The current LTE technology's guard bands limit its use to fairly short spaced transmitter sites.