5G Media Initiative launched

Bild: ARD/ZDF
Quelle: ARD/ZDF

(Munich, 19.05.17) On 18 May 2017, renowned companies and organisations launched the “5G Media Initiative” in order to promote the potential of the future 5G network standard for the media industry with research and development. Partners include Kathrein Werke KG, Nokia, Rohde & Schwarz, Telefónica, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Südwestrundfunk, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg FAU, Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen IIS, Institut für Rundfunktechnik IRT and the Munich-based start-up company Cadami. The 5G Media Initiative networks media, science and industry to exchange know-how, develop joint positions and initiate research projects. In contrast to other 5G initiatives in Germany, the research activities focus on a strong media connection.

The next generation of 5G mobile communications not only means higher data rates and lower latency times, it will also change entire industries and markets as a comprehensive communications system. 5G is a key technology for automated driving, industry 4.0, smart grid and eHealth. In addition, 5G also has great potential for the media, cultural and creative industries.

Uwe Löwenstein, Spectrum Technology Manager, Telefónica Germany, comments: “As a globally active telecommunications group, Telefónica S.A. is playing a decisive role in the development of the new 5G mobile communications standard. This is done, among other things, by participating in EU research projects and through active membership in the ‘Next Generation Mobile Networks’. As Telefónica Germany, we contribute the experience and expertise gained in these projects to national projects. The ‘5G Media Initiative’ offers an excellent platform to test the future distribution of media content via modern and convergent 5G networks and to evaluate the resulting business models”.

“Media content is being consumed more and more on mobile devices, while smartphones and mobile phones can be used more and more in the production and transmission of content to radio stations and in some cases replace OB vans,” explains Wilhelm Dresselhaus, head of Nokia Germany. “5G’s universal applicability opens up a wide range of options for media production, distribution and consumption, including new business models”.

Based on a global standard, 5G offers the possibility to realize individual communication and mass attractive media usage via the same network infrastructure. Powerful 5G terminals will enable improved hybrid media access with seamless transition from live to on-demand offerings and new services.

The 5G network standard will also support new forms of media production. The infrastructural limits of traditional media production can be overcome on a wireless IP basis and recording, contribution and studio technology can be networked more comprehensively and economically.

Helwin Lesch, Head of HA Distribution and Controlling, BR, says: “As the network of the future, 5G will play a major role in the production and distribution of broadcasting and will also open up completely new possibilities for radio and television use. BR is participating in the project in order to reduce the costs of public service broadcasting infrastructures for this promising development and thus ensure free and easy reception for broadcasting customers.”

Jochen Mezger, Head of Network Technologies, IRT, says: “With the introduction of 5G, a market with millions of smartphones and tablet PCs as potential broadcast receivers could emerge, which can attractively combine live TV services, media libraries, social networks and many other services. 5G will also enable completely new media formats, such as object-based broadcasting. This will allow audiovisual objects to be adapted both in terms of content and technology for stationary and mobile use and for new formats such as 360 degrees, augmented and virtual reality as well as for barrier-free services on the receiving side.

Ralf Exler, Head of Innovation Management at Kathrein, sees a convergent network in the future in which all communication networks and technologies will merge and in which common 5G standards will be bundled. “In the network, known and new media content will find more powerful distribution channels, leading to completely new user experiences and business models with new media formats. As a communications technology specialist, we want to play an active role in creating the networked world of tomorrow”.

Manfred Reitmeier, Head of Development Terrestrial Transmitter Systems at Rohde & Schwarz, says: “5G is the first great opportunity to cover all major application areas in wireless communication with a globally uniform standard. This will also result in completely new user and operator models, which Rohde & Schwarz, as a leading technology supplier of communications infrastructure and measurement technology, is helping to create and continuously develop”.

First technical approaches for the integration of broadcasting in LTE/5G were successfully investigated in the Bavarian research project IMB5 from 2014 to 2016 and demonstrated in large-scale test networks in Munich and Erlangen. In 2016, the requirements of broadcasting, including those of the EBU, BBC, IRT and Nokia, were formulated for 5G and included in the 3GPP standardization group.

“Digital broadcasting and wireless communication technologies have been research priorities at Fraunhofer IIS for many years; with 5G, these two worlds will continue to grow together. With its test environments in Erlangen and Ilmenau, Fraunhofer IIS is ideally equipped to actively shape and support this development,” says Bernhard Niemann, Head of Broadband and Broadcasting at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits.

“Now is the time to influence 5G standardization. Both media production and distribution have specific requirements, which fortunately coincide to a large extent with those of other markets. Here it is necessary to identify common interests and to demonstrate the advantages of communication via a uniform convergent 5G standard, to influence standardization and regulation and to collaborate on the definition of future funding programmes. What can become possible here, if the necessary paths are taken, is the enormous moment in the implementation and market penetration of new technologies in mobile communications to also open up for media communications. The mobile communications industry can boast enormous numbers of smartphones in particular. These scaling effects, which are decisive for microelectronics, can also be exploited for media communication. The FAU would like to contribute its broad spectrum of expertise in the field of multimedia communication to the 5G Media Initiative. This includes research areas such as high-frequency technology, communications technology, circuit technology, microelectronics and audio/video signal processing,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Georg Fischer, Professor of Technical Electronics at the FAU Chair of the same name.

The “5G Media Initiative” should be open to other interested companies and institutions who wish to actively participate in achieving the goals of the initiative. The “5G Media Initiative” is in talks with other partners from Germany.