Qualcomm Incorporated, Nokia and Finnish broadcasting company, Yle, announced they will conduct the world’s first demonstration of the LTE Supplemental Downlink (SDL) technology in a TV broadcast band.
Allowing for innovative and interactive broadcast services, LTE SDL in a TV broadcast band provides new opportunities for broadcasters, which is also technically viable and does not harm Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).
The live demonstration is scheduled to take place at the Nokia Executive Experience Center in Espoo, Finland from 12 – 3 p.m. on September 2.
A modern DTV antenna
LTE SDL uses the concept of flexibility in the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) broadcast band to deliver advanced media services to tablets and smartphones without creating interference to existing DTT services in the band. Currently supported on 4G LTE networks, and expected to be supported in the early stages of 5G, LTE SDL technology allows media publishers and network operators to optimize the usage of available UHF frequencies.
This demonstration is relevant in the context of a proposal made by the European Commission to introduce a flexibility option in the 470-790 MHz (lower UHF) band, which is currently used by Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) networks and by wireless microphones using the gaps between DVB channels.
There has been a push in recent years by European countries to utilize the 700MHz band for mobile communications, which is supported by the European Commission in an overall EU strategy for the broadcast band.
The flexibility option for the 470-694 MHz band is included in the draft decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band in the Union, which was published in February this year.
“As the media segment continues to rapidly evolve and ultimately require the gradual migration from traditional broadcasting towards distribution through mobile broadband networks, LTE SDL technology will be an important step towards diversifying media content publishing and distribution,” said Enrico Salvatori, SVP & President, Qualcomm EMEA.
“LTE SDL will not only enable broadcasters to reach out to tablets and smartphones, but will also enable many new services, including contextualized and individualized advertising, on-Demand TV, and mobile payments.”
“I welcome this engagement by Qualcomm, Yle, and Nokia to demonstrate an innovative approach to using UHF spectrum,” said Roberto Viola, Director General of DG CONNECT of the European Commission.
“This sends a clear signal to industry players and policy makers that there are many opportunities for broadcasters and their partners for using the spectrum to foster a future-proof ecosystem in the UHF band.”
“The European Commission’s proposal for flexible use of the UHF- licensed bands allows broadcasters and operators to collaborate in the optimization of the scarce spectrum resources. With LTE carrier aggregation operators can access this unpaired spectrum to increase downlink capacity. This is vital in allowing operators to cope with the growing asymmetric downlink traffic which is driven by video, user-generated content, and new media services. In a collaborative effort, broadcasters and operators will have the opportunity to explore new business models that will help drive use of smart devices and interactive services. It has real potential for broadcasters to create a globally converged platform for DTT and improve the economic model for the long lifecycle of their dedicated infrastructure,” said Stephan Litjens, Vice President of Nokia Innovation Steering.
“As a public service media company, Yle needs to keep up with transitions within the technology industry and media consumption, and show how to best serve our audiences,” said Lauri Kivinen, CEO, Yle – Finnish Broadcasting Co.
“We continuously study new ways of publishing and how distribution affects consumers. With the technical environment of the media industry being challenging, it is great to have this demo to prove that the multi-network distribution is on its way.”