The broadcast industry should prepare today to capitalize on opportunities in the coming 5G era, according to Caroline Chan, vice president of the Network Platforms Group and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel Corporation. Chan recently addressed a gathering of broadcast industry experts at this year’s IBC Conference in Amsterdam, Sept. 14-18. She outlined how 5G will revolutionize the way broadcasters deliver content and monetize new engaging and immersive experiences.
Chairing a panel, “Leading the Digital Media Transformation in 5G Network Era,” Chan explored how 5G networks will offer media companies and brands an unprecedented opportunity to meet customers where they want to be and deliver new experiences and services that enrich their lives. Other speakers who joined Chan on the panel included Ralf Jacob, president, Verizon Digital Media Services; Emili Planas, chief technology officer and operations manager, Mediapro; and Steve Plunkett, chief technology officer, Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson.
Investment in 5G readiness by transforming networks to meet the growing demand for new experiences is accelerating, spurred on by consumer demand for unique, immersive entertainment experiences from any device in real time. These experiences will deepen customer relationships and open up new revenue opportunities.
In sports, for example, Intel® True VR and Intel® freeD technologies are enabling more immersive experiences that bring fans closer to the action both in stadiums and at home. The goal is to give fans a more personalized experience and more control of how they interact with their favorite leagues, teams and players, whether viewing in virtual reality or sharing 360-degree views of the best plays of the game on devices and digital channels.
“During a match, how about connecting to real-time content? Do you want to see players from every angle on the Jumbotron or watch interactive highlights and replays on a variety of devices?”
Chan explained how communication service providers are deploying computing intelligence as close to the fans and these devices as possible to ensure the best possible quality of experience.
For example, Intel has been working with China Unicom*, Nokia* and Tencent* to deliver a multi-access edge computing solution at the Shanghai Mercedes Benz Arena. Customers of China Unicom who visit the arena are able to enjoy multiple view angles of the event, powered by Nokia Edge Video Orchestration (EVO) Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) solution. With MEC, China Unicom customers can also enjoy a significantly improved real-time viewing experience by taking advantage of shorter latency in the arena.
With so much potential to unlock, Chan explained that networks must be designed with the intelligence, flexibility and speed required to support these new immersive experiences. Emerging technologies, such as software defined network (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) are essential building blocks of this transformation.
“While service providers invest to transform their networks, they will also deploy new capture and encoding technologies that minimize bandwidth requirements for the creation, transmission and consumption of video content.”
In closing, Chan urged broadcasters to begin considering how future developments resulting from the advent of 5G could affect their business, as early adopters will be prepared to win in the 5G world. The time is now for communication service providers and other network operators to put the infrastructure in place.
To learn more, read Chan’s blog, “IBC2017. Sports, Heroes & 5G: Delighting Consumers, Monetizing Mobile Entertainment Experiences.”