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ONE Media and Saankhya to deliver ATSC 3.0 over 5G

ONE Media 3.0, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc, has announced an agreement with Saankhya Labs, a developer in wireless systems and cognitive Software Defined Radio (SDR) solutions, to accelerate the development of a Next-Generation Broadcast Offload Platform (ATSC 3.0) over 5G cellular network.

“Broadcasters have a critical seat at the 5G table. This work and product development will provide a ‘level set’ against expectations for broadcast services that are embraced by the 3GPP 5G standard,” said Mark Aitken, president, ONE Media 3.0.

The platform will sit at the heart of the 5G convergence as it enables 4G and 5G wireless operators to offload over-the-top (OTT) and live content dynamically onto “one-to-many” broadcast digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) networks. This will therefore create many “firsts” in DTT technology:

  • “Cellularising” broadcast architecture to enable indoor reception of DTT with mobile and portable devices;
  • Dramatically improving DTT spectrum utilisation, providing more bits/higher robustness through spectrum reuse;
  • Introducing AI-based analytics engines to provision and directly offload traffic from congested 4G/5G networks;
  • Providing content delivery networks (CDN) with significant improvement in the streaming experience by moving OTT traffic to the broadcast platform; and
  • Enabling hyper-localisation of broadcast content (video/audio services, datacasting, advertising, and emergency alerts).

Earlier this year, demonstrations of the 5G-related components of the new co-operative network were shown at CES2019, Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2019 and NAB Show 2019.

Aitken continued: “These first deployments will elevate understanding of the cooperative role NextGen (ATSC 3.0) broadcast can play to make 5G networks highly efficient broadcast/broadband convergent networks.

“The ‘Direct-to-Mobile’ focus of this activity will leverage the one-to-many efficiencies of broadcast in a new topology that can provide high-reliability and large bandwidth solutions, and make them available to the competitive marketplace.”

Video delivery currently depends on ‘best effort’ unicast mobile networks, but the consistent quality is essential to building a strong broadcast video network. Parag Naik, CEO of Saankhya Labs, said: “Our Direct-to-Mobile solution provides a new tool combining broadcast and OTT content over a new video distribution platform.

“We are convinced that OTT content players and mobile network operators will take full advantage of this unique video delivery solution.”

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