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Japan & China to be 5G-ready for upcoming mega events

With technologies like HEVC/H.265 and 5G offering improved compression and faster transfer speed, higher-resolution content which are typically larger in file size can travel even more seamlessly across all screens. APB discovers how the more advanced countries in Asia are doing to broadcast and stream mega sports events scheduled to take place in the region.

The uptake of HEVC/H.265 in Asia has been well received, especially in markets such as China and Japan, where the race for 5G network deployments has already started, says Frederic Parbey, vice-president of sales, Asia-Pacific, for Aviwest.

He elaborates: “We see an exponential demand for HEVC/H.265-ready solutions since the codec was introduced to replace AVC/H.264.

“Without a doubt, HEVC/H.265 is trending, and has made a strong impact in Asia, where we’ll see a 50% increase in demand compared with 2018.”

Parbey points out that Japan as well as tier-one broadcasters in China will encounter challenges and need to shell out investment to upgrade their production facilities if they are to capture and broadcast major upcoming sports events in 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) and 8K — Japan will be hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup as well as the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in 2020, and China will have to gear up for the Winter Olympic Games in 2022.

In Japan, the race for 5G deployments has already started in earnest with local telco NTT Docomo expecting 5G to be available to enable ultra-high resolution streaming during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Meanwhile, China Unicom announced that it would invest more than US$217 million for its 4G service upgrade, and a 5G-based broadband network map during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Two other Chinese telcos — China Mobile and China Telecom — are also committed to being 5G-ready for the Games.

Parbey continues: “The delay of 50ms on a 4G network compared with 1ms for 5G will enable consumers to share, stream and download 4K/UHD videos on their 5G smartphones within a few seconds.

“Typical 4G users will not be able to do that because 4K/UHD video streaming would need an estimated minimum download speed of 25Mbps.

“It is estimated that 5G will provide minimum download speeds of 100Mbps, compared with less than 10Mbps for 4G. In other words, 5G technology will increase TV viewer demand for 4K/UHD live sports and reality show anywhere, and on any viewing platform.” 

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