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Ericsson and Telstra in LTE Broadcast trial

Australia’s leading telecoms operator Telstra has signed an extension of its partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson that will see the two collaborate on the expansion of Telstra’s LTE network. In a briefing at Mobile World Congress on Monday the firms’ CEOs, David Thodey and Hans Vestberg signed a three-year expansion contract that Thodey described as “another multi-billion dollar deal”.

The deal includes three trials to begin during 2013, with the two firms testing LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation, LTE het-net and an LTE broadcast solution that Vestberg promised would be a “game changer” for operators looking to monetise mobile video.

Telstra has distribution rights for AFL but is currently limited to streaming games to just 2,000 users at any one time, who pay a AUS$50/season subscription fee, Thodey said. With LTE broadcast, based on Evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) technology, this can be scaled up to millions of subscribers. The technology allows for a video stream to be broadcast to any number of users over a single carrier, said Ericsson’s CTO, Ulf Ewaldsson, making for more efficient use of spectrum.

If one user is watching a video it is streamed over the usual data network but as soon as a second person within the same cell starts watching the same stream it is automatically switched to the broadcast solution, Ewaldsson said.

He added that the same solution could be used to address issues other than video, including delivering the increasing volume of software updates that will be required by user devices as networks and services evolve.


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