Taking broadcasting to a new height
Around the world, regulatory authorities are issuing licenses for 5G to mobile network operators as the momentum behind the next-gen mobile technology gains steam. Designed to offer massive, intelligent connectivity at scale, 5G is much more than a speed upgrade.
With its rich suite of capabilities, 5G represents a transformational change in how the world is connected. Expected to drive a new wave of innovations and business transformations, 5G is predicted to contribute US$13.2 trillion of global economic output by 2035.
One area where 5G will make a significant impact would undoubtedly be in live outdoor broadcasts. With large spaces to cover and only small windows of time for setup, broadcasters covering live outdoor events typically rely on mobile networks to transmit footage from strategic locations. To get the required bandwidth, they often use a technique known as cellular bonding where multiple 4G devices are used in tandem to bolster available bandwidth.
But depending on location and the situation on-the-ground, this might not be adequate. When deployed at crowded event locations with thousands of smartphone devices, or remote areas with poorer connectivity, limited bandwidth can result in disruptions to live video streams. This can manifest as disorientating lags in the streamed content, skipped frames, video artefacts, or even intermittent cut-offs.
5G will redefine the boundaries of what is possible with live outdoor broadcasts. With support for a device density of up to a million devices per square kilometre, significantly higher bandwidth and lower network latency, broadcasters can leverage 5G to enhance viewers’ experiences and engagement in the most demanding environments. The improved performance will be vital as video quality grows to 4K and 8K – which contains four times and more than 16 times the amount of data of standard high-definition videos, respectively.
Singapore is a cosmopolitan city that is a popular destination for tourists and renowned for signature outdoor events such as the annual Formula 1 Night Race. With a 5G backhaul network, additional cameras can be deployed to cover obscure parts of the track while aerial drones can deliver spectacular high-resolution video streams of the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
And while high-intensity live events will see early benefits, outdoor sports events will benefit too. Some of these sporting events might include the Paralympic Games, the Southeast Asian Games, or gruelling, long-distance triathlon races. Even smaller outdoor sporting events can be covered live with minimum effort when 5G is fully implemented across the island.
Elsewhere, a host of outdoor cultural or national events can come to life with the live event coverage enabled by 5G. This includes annual events such as the National Day Parade (NDP), the Chingay Parade, countdown events such as the Chinese New Year Countdown Party at Chinatown, to name a few. And new capabilities such as FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast & Multicast. Services) on 5G networks will eventually offer the ability to broadcast programs across a broad area for economical area coverage.
5G is set to impact the way live outdoor events are covered. Its significantly faster data transmission and better service reliability make multi-camera productions of live outdoor events easier than ever. Freed from fighting the technical limitations of older mobile technologies, broadcasters and event organisers can turn their energies to innovate with high bandwidth offerings such as 4K streaming, augmented reality (AR) experiences, and 360-degree applications.
The ultra-low latency of 5G allows drones to be controlled with fine precision permitting aerial video coverage that is no longer restricted to wide-area coverage from drones. With tighter control over their aerial movements, precise, close-up shots from multiple drones deployed as roving camera platforms can bring viewers right into the middle of the action. 5G can also improve the user experience in the crowd, allowing participants with 5G supporting devices to experience an enhanced, mixed reality experience as well, transforming a live event into immersive, highly interactive experiences.
At StarHub, we want to develop a vibrant 5G ecosystem to benefit both mobile users and businesses. We aim to make the onboarding to 5G simple, seamless, and transparent so that customers can focus on enabling their business instead of on the technology. Leverage the power of 5G to co-create possibilities – the future of business is a world of endless possibilities.
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