LTE Broadcast testing at sports events
Beyond the hype that always surrounds the Super Bowl it appears that Verizon was showing off something called LTE Broadcast and also down in Australia Telstra has been testing the same tech. If anyone has had a play in the UK with this technology we have not noticed.
Effectively LTE Broadcast is multicast for the 4G LTE network, and rather than streaming video individually to everyone the cell broadcasts the data just once and thus many bits of precious 4G bandwidth are saved for the more important twitter and facebook updates.
The success or not of LTE Broadcast seems of minor importance to many, but with the pressure mounting for shifting mobile broadband further down the radio spectrum and squeezing FreeView channels even more, if 4G mobile providers can show the ability to carry live event traffic smoothly they can increase the leverage as the 'inefficient use of bandwidth' argument is reduced. The lower frequency of 700MHz will have better range, than the 800MHz band that some UK broadband is using, and carries the possibility of improving mobile coverage.
For some years people have chased the great bandwidth consumer application and it is increasingly looking to be more and yet more video, be that user generated or mainstream sources. Also major sporting events are often the greatest users of Internet capacity, which may explain why sports events are a good test bed, plus with many thousands of handsets in a stadium you get a idea of how the cell performs under heavy mixed use load.