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BBC, EE trial 4G replays at FA Cup final

The BBC and mobile network operator EE tested new mobile apps at the FA Cup final on May 30th using 4G Broadcast technology to offer instant replays to fans watching inside Wembley Stadium.

The service offered replays of key moments from multiple angles. Following the successful trial, a public service is planned for 2016.

The two companies first trialled 4G Broadcast at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year. In that trial, several streams were offered to mobile devices reflecting the coverage on BBC1, BBC3, and the BBC’s red button service.

“4G Broadcast is going to overcome the major capacity challenges in the mobile network – instead of sending a single stream of video to every user, we broadcast one stream that any number of devices can connect to,” said EE spokesperson Howard Jones.  “In 2016 we’ll be starting to make this available in places where we have large groups of customers likely to be watching live sport or events.”

Chris Nokes, Principal Engineer,  Distribution Core Technologies, BBC Research & Development, said that BBC R&D would continue to explore 4G Broadcast technology, both to work out how the BBC might bring such experiences to viewers on a more regular basis, as well as working with others in the broadcast and mobile industries to see how the technology might be enhanced even further in future generations of mobile devices.

The other partners for the trial were Qualcomm, Huawei, EVS and Intellicore.

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