Telstra announced today that they are trailing LTE-Broadcast. The first mobile carrier in the world to trial LTE-Broadcast live on a commercial network, Telstra are looking to the future and how our thirst for mobile data will be serviced over a crowded wireless spectrum. Normally customers access a lot of the same data and that data is then transmitted from the network infrastructure to each device. Essentially this is a really inefficient method of transmitting the same data.
If we think more of the TV or radio method of broadcast, the signal is sent once from the infrastructure and anyone who wants to tap into the signal can, but the data is only broadcast once. LTE-Broadcast trial, we have today demonstrated that it’s possible to use one stream of data, to deliver the same content to multiple users – keeping the rest of the network free for other customers.
Given the dramatic reduction in network resources, expect the other providers to follow quickly. Naturally this doesn’t suit all use cases as often devices are requesting unique data sets, but in the event of a live stream, it’s perfectly suited to an LTE-Broadcast. Telstra is undertaking this trial with our network partner Ericsson.
One of the most interesting numbers to come out of today’s announcement is that Telstra now has over 3.2 million 4G compatible devices on their network. Some of those devices may be still running on 3G, but are at least capable of running on 4G and you’d expect them to update at some point, so the number is valid. The most common scenario for using 3G in a 4G capable device would be upgraders who have a 3G sim card and haven’t bothered to get a new one (you should), as well as people trying to conserve a little battery.
As a side note, Qualcomm demonstrated LTE Broadcast at Mobile World Congress back in 2012, so we’re moving quickly from theory, to testing and hopefully production quickly.
More information @ Telstra Exchange