Will eMBMS Have Any Impact in the US or Australia?

There are other benefits of 4G that aren’t currently being utilized
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SYDNEY � Looks like Australians are starting to take notice of the feature of 4G/LTE known as �eMBMS.� We�ve previously covered this in at least two articles in our newsletter (here and here).

But let�s see what Brad Smart, writing in radioinfo.com/au, has to say about it as well.

�...Australia�s telecommunications giants want to be the next ones to put their hands in broadcasting�s pocket.

�So, what kind of technology are we talking about here?
�...There are other benefits of 4G that aren�t currently being utilized. One of these is a development called LTE-B or LTE-Broadcast; tech-heads may also know it as �eMBMS�.

�For the rest of us, in non-technical speak, LTE-Broadcast is a relatively new development, where a service provider, like Telstra, Vodafone or Optus, can carve off part of their mobile bandwidth and allow local radio stations to broadcast content through mobile base stations.�

That�s right; we�re not talking cellular service, per se here. Literally some of the spectrum that these telcos have can literally be �broadcast� upon�the one-to-many model that we broadcasters are familiar with. �It�s done in a SFN style, so that as a mobile device goes between sites, the connection follows along.

�...these mobile service providers are looking for another way to �slice the apple,� and radio is their next target. As technology advances during the next two-three years, I believe we�re going to see more and more devices coming to market with LTE modems and SIM card slots. This will include televisions and media set top boxes, but, most importantly for radio, the connected car and discrete portable receivers, similar in design to those used for DAB+.

�With the arrival of these consumer products, we�ll then be talking a relatively short time frame to implement a nationwide service, which could well be years ahead of the proposed rollout of DAB+ in many regional areas (meaning Australia).

�New technology, like LTE-B, whether it gets a look-in or not, continually serves notice on older systems, like DAB+, that it may no longer have the luxury of time on its side, especially with regional Australia�s digital rollout eagerly waiting in the wings.�

Though we don�t have DAB+ digital radio in the U.S., the same situation applies here. The telcos have the spectrum already, and eMBMS is a part of LTE here the same as it is in Australia. Yet we know these companies don�t generate their own content; if they really wanted to get in to radio, would it make sense to buy radio companies? �