SK Telecom claims 5G live broadcast first
January 2, 2019
By Nick Snow
Korean telco SK Telecom says it has achieved the world’s first live TV broadcasting using its commercial 5G network and live broadcasting solution.
SK Telecom aired Korea’s largest New Year’s event – which includes a countdown and bell-ringing ceremony, and interviews – at Bosingak, a large bell pavilion located in Jongro-gu, Seoul, for approximately eleven minutes, live on an entertainment channel, XtvN, at 00:00 KST on January 1st, 2019.
For the live broadcast of the event, the company utilised its 5G network, which was commercialised on December 1, 2018, and T Live Caster, a live broadcasting solution it developed over a four-year period.
T Live Caster enables live broadcasting of video taken by smartphones on various channels such as TV and personal broadcasting via 5G and LTE network. It is currently being used not only in the media industry to live stream diverse events and sports games, but also in the video surveillance area to enhance public safety and ensure rapid response.
The video of the Bosingak event – which was taken by smartphone cameras installed with the T Live Caster app and connected to a 5G mobile routers – was transmitted through 5G base stations and XtvN’s transmission system to reach cable and IPTV viewers of XtvN. The video was transmitted at a latency of less than one second – which is similar to that of the existing wired broadcasting system – despite the extremely congested data environment.
Starting with 5G live broadcasting, SK Telecom will promote innovations in the media industry. The company plans to further enhance the quality of T Live Caster to UHD and interconnect the solution to personal broadcasting platforms within this year.
With its 5G network, SK Telecom will also tap into the drone broadcasting market. In June 2018, the company forged a partnership with drone manufacturer DJI, and jointly developed drone video surveillance solution.
“With today’s successful live TV broadcasting over commercial 5G network, SK Telecom ushers in a new era of 5G-based media services,” said Choi Nak-hoon, Senior Vice President and Head of 5GX IoT/Data Group of SK Telecom. “In this new era, individual creators will be able to provide high-quality live broadcast anytime, anywhere, via 5G smartphones.”