Rohde & Schwarz China 5G broadcast trial  

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China’s Academy of Broadcasting Science (ABS) and China Broadcasting Network Co. Ltd. (CBN), two public institutions under governmental authority Chinese National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), are to cooperate and set up a 5G broadcast field trial in Beijing.

Broadcast and media technologist Rohde & Schwarz is supplying the transmitters and core network components. Following the example of the 5G TODAY project in Bavaria, the Chinese trial network will go on air in August 2019 before broadcast technology expo BIRTV 2019. This trial is the first step of the long-term strategies pursued by both parties, which comprise 5G broadcast commercial deployment by 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, followed by further national expansion by 2025.

NRTA has been researching possible next generation broadcasting technologies for some time. The FeMBMS (Further evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) and related High Tower High Power (HTHP) concept specified in 3GPP release 14 seem to be in line with their requirements. In light of the fact that CBN acuirred a commercial 5G licence of 4.9GHz with 50MHz band in June 2019, a FeMBMS field trial is seen as a logical move to the new mobile landscape.

Both ABS and CBN have decided to rely on Rohde & Schwarz transmitters and core network components to set up the network. The Beijing Trial network contains three stations operating in a single-frequency-network (SFN). The stations CCTV Tower, Jing Guang Center and Ming Ren Square are around 10km away from each other. Transmitters from Rohde & Schwarz with 1kW output power will be working at central frequency 754MHz with 5MHz bandwidth (later on 10MHz). A software defined radio receiver developed by Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, Germany, and Kathrein signal analyser are included in the same trial package. With this end-to-end implementation, ABS and CBN plan to carry out varies of tests, such as field strength propagation, network coverage, mobility reception, application possibilities and interworking with LTE unicast network.

The 5G TODAY project in Bavaria, funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (BFS), on-air since December 2018, convinced an NRTA delegation to set up their own trial project, when they visited Munich to investigate the 5G Broadcast solution in April 2019.

The Bavarian public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Institute for Broadcast Technology (IRT), Kathrein, Rohde & Schwarz and Telefónica Deutschland are cooperating in this research project to explore a broadcasting solution for the future 5G technology. Two Rohde & Schwarz high-power transmitters respectively located at Wendelstein and Ismaning Stations are transmitting both with 100kW antenna power in SFN.

Although the Beijing 5G Broadcast trial project is just about to start, Rohde & Schwarz suggests that the project will put an important influence on chipset and handset manufacturers in light of the huge potential market, and can be a further driving force on a commercial end-to-end realisation of future broadcasting technology.


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