IP&TV News talks eMBMS/LTE Broadcast with Carlos Perez (E2E LTE Technical Project Manager, Orange Labs). Perez will be appearing at the LTE Broadcast conference track at TV Connect (28 – 30 April 2015 ExCel, London).
IP&TV News: Hi Carlos. Tell us a bit about the history of your research into eMBMS at Orange Labs?
Carlos Perez: It’s two and half years since we started working on eMBMS. The first thing we do for a new feature or service is try to see whether it’s ready for deployment, whether it’s mature enough. We tested it in the labs and we did proof of concept, and we ended up doing a live demo (using an LTE broadcast ad hoc network) during last year’s Roland Garros. Back then the networks and the technology and the funds were ready, but we still had some things that needed to be wrapped up or modified – there were still some delay issues for when you are in the arena looking at live content.
What about your more recent research?
Right now we are working on the next steps, which are related more to costs (such as total cost of ownership) and interoperability between different vendors and other services.
eMBMS has to live with other LTE features, like voice over LTE, carrier aggregation, etc. We are looking at this right now: trying to see how they will coexist together, because there will probably be some drawbacks or side effects when you have two or three features active at the same time.
And what about the prospective use cases?
You can use eMBMS for different use cases. From a MNO deployment point of view what makes sense is to start with venues and then when bigger eMBMS coverage is available and device penetration increases move to wider uses cases.
The easiest use case would be content push. Let’s say you have a very rich e-magazine, Sports Illustrated for example. You sign with Sports Illustrated and they will push the updated issue to your phone every morning before you leave home for commuting. You could do that using eMBMS in a very efficient manner while the phone is on standby.
So it isn’t just about video?
eMBMS is definitely not just for video. We’re talking about multimedia, so your Sports Illustrated would have all the articles, high definition images and embedded video. We did a proof of concept, and people were amazed by the fact that, if you pre-load the content, it’s very fast when you interact with the application as everything is coming from the phone’s internal flash memory.
You could have other use cases, which are theoretically similar, but technically quite different, where eMBMS could be used to push the content distribution network all the way to the phone for pre-caching.
The idea, with CDNs, is that you push the content as close as you can to the client. Why not just push it all the way to their phone? Let’s say you have a client who has a YouTube app, and you know 80% of your clients that have that app look at the top ten videos, so why not just push it to all of them? You save resources and everyone has a great user experience. It’s a win-win situation.
What’s the main motivation for attending TV Connect?
In mainland Europe, I don’t see a country ready for eMBMS this year, so I’m very interested in looking at the possibility of having LTE broadcast in the UK, because I think it is here where the first eMBMS deployments will happen.
Throughout the LTE Broadcast conference track at TV Connect (28 – 30 April 2015 ExCel, London) there will be an examination of the latest trials and best case-uses for the technology – including updates from the likes of BBC, Deutsche Telekom, EE and Telecom Italia. Click here to see the full brochure.