Nokia shows off 5G 360-degree video broadcast

Metaverse VR

Kit vendor Nokia has teamed up with TPG and Mediatek to show how carrier aggregation can be used to transmit live 360-degree broadcasts which could be used for metaverse stuff.

The demonstration was designed to show how carrier aggregation technology can ‘transform the experience of watching TV, movies and sports’ and took place at Nokia’s 5G Futures Lab in Sydney, Australia.

The combination of two or more sub-6 GHz frequency bands means optimized 5G uplink speeds can be achieved, we’re told, enabling real-time transmission of high-quality 360-degree video.

In terms of the technology specifics, (sharp intake of breath) the demo used Nokia’s AirScale portfolio including baseband, massive MIMO, and Remote Radio Head products, powered by its ReefShark chipset.

A MediaTek M80 5G modem was incorporated into the Dimensity SoC series, and the demonstration used a combination of a 15 MHz carrier on the 700 MHz band (n28) and a 90 MHz carrier on the 3.6 GHz band (n78) using carrier aggregation to achieve a peak uplink throughput of 159 Mbps. Phew…

This was all deployed to enable a broadcast of Leslie Shannon, Nokia’s Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting, to give a talk about the metaverse. This covered how 360-degree video livestreamed over 5G could be useful for industrial metaverse situations, such as allowing workers to look at a location somewhere else through a VR headset and remotely control a robot do something dangerous, such as handling explosives.

“Collaborating with TPG Telecom and MediaTek on this exciting project showcases a key building block of the Metaverse: 360-degree video streaming,” said Andrew Cope, Head of Oceania at Nokia. Powered by Nokia’s two component carrier 5G Uplink Carrier Aggregation technology, this breakthrough technology is vital for the immersive future needed to take industrial digitalization to the next level. We are proud to feature Leslie Shannon, Nokia’s Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting and author of ‘Interconnected Realities,’ as the subject of this broadcast, highlighting the importance of 5G 2CC in realizing the transformative potential of the Metaverse.”

Dr HC Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication System and Partnerships at MediaTek, added: “The 360-degree video broadcasting demonstrates the diverse capabilities of MediaTek’s industry-leading M80 5G modem. Our collaboration with Nokia has shown the clear benefits of another real-world application utilizing essential 5G technologies like Uplink Carrier Aggregation. We are enabling our vision is to grow the 5G ecosystem through continuously enhancing 5G capacity and performance with features that add value to consumers of smartphones and mobile broadband 5G devices.”

The release cites a study which claims 96% of respondents ‘recognize the industrial metaverse’s potential to mix physical and virtual use cases’ and that they believe that the metaverse will allow them to ‘accelerate the deployment, adoption and monetization of Industry 4.0 for their businesses.’

Which is a very wishy washy way of putting it, but we’re certainly used to that with comms about the metaverse. Salvos of buzzwords aside, the chief achievement here seems to be the successful deployment of some carrier aggregation for some slightly more specific metaverse use cases than we’re often treated to.

And that’s something the evangelists of such things could do with in their back pocket if the views of that apparently very metaverse friendly survey group is to be extrapolated more widely.


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