Telstra and Ericsson to deploy LTE-Broadcast across Australia by 2018

Media Release, 27 February 2017

Together with Ericsson, Telstra is progressively deploying LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) across its network at national scale in 2018.

  • Telstra’s first of several LTE-B enabled products will launch in 2017.
  • Telstra is working with Ericsson and Expway to introduce dynamic triggering for unicast to broadcast switching known as Multicast Operation on Demand (MooD), as well as Service Continuity between unicast and broadcast coverage areas in its network by November 2017.

Telstra together with Ericsson today announced the upcoming deployment of LTE-B enabled in Telstra Media services and continued investment for the national roll-out of LTE-B in 2017 and beyond.

Telstra is committed to leveraging the 3GPP standards capability LTE-B offers, to further enhance the mobile video customer experience, to differentiate our customer value proposition and to aid in customer retention and acquisition over the long term.

Telstra’s LTE-B offering will be launched in 2017 enabled in existing Telstra Media services, as well as a 24 x 7 linear streaming channel, and will initially be available on select Samsung devices.

LTE-B users can expect to receive the highest quality video and audio experience for broadcast content by consuming a constant bitrate data channel regardless of how many subscribers are watching the broadcast. This technique improves the received quality of streamed media, even in high traffic areas where customers’ video experience may sometimes result in reduced quality and eliminates buffering arisen from fluctuations in latency.

Telstra is working with Ericsson to ensure its network is ready for launch. Telstra’s Group Managing Director Networks, Mike Wright, said “99% of Telstra’s 4GX sites are already LTE-B capable, with the intention to have nationwide enablement and coverage for LTE-B by 2018. Telstra’s LTE-B product roadmap will include 24 x 7 linear streaming, live sports coverage beyond stadiums, pre-loading of popular content, news clips and games highlights. We plan on enabling LTE-B across many devices, and are excited to deliver an enhanced mobile experience to our customers.”

To ensure a consistent experience and efficient cost model across Telstra’s network, Telstra is also investing in Session Continuity and Dynamic Switching (otherwise know a Multicast Operation on Demand or Mood) capability, and is working towards introducing this capability in its network by November 2017.

Session Continuity allows the customer to move between unicast and broadcast areas and maintain a seamless video streaming experience. MooD or dynamic switching shifts the transmission between unicast and broadcast based on a configured threshold of the number of users consuming the same content in the same coverage area, enhancing the usability of LTE-B as a technology to provide the most efficient delivery technology over the network.

Wright said “This technology will be crucial to improving the LTE-B experience for our customers. For instance, when network capacity becomes limited and multiple users are consuming the same content, the MooD capability can shift the transmission to broadcast.”

Elisabetta Romano, Vice President, Head of Media Solutions at Ericsson, said “We are working closely with Telstra to deploy new technologies that help Telstra’s business. In collaboration with Expway, Ericsson is enabling Telstra to perform interoperability testing for session continuity and MooD features with production pilot in 2017. Our solutions enable Telstra to collaborate to deliver seamless connectivity and service continuity with LTE-Broadcast, with scale and great quality of experience.”

LTE-B Alliance

Telstra and Ericsson are actively working to build momentum in the LTE-Broadcast global ecosystem via the LTE-Broadcast Alliance. During Mobile World Congress 2017, the inaugural LTE-Broadcast Alliance Forum will bring together the industry’s leading players to collaborate on the development of LTE-Broadcast, and further stimulate ecosystem momentum.

In addition, as part of the LTE-B Alliance with Verizon, EE and KT, Telstra is working to ensure LTE-B enablement in Android devices from major OEMs to provide a substantial addressable market for future LTE-B products.