Telstra Executive Director Networks, Mike Wright says the trial will be conducted at the MCG following successful lab demonstrations and will be “one of the first live event LTE-B trials in the world, marking a significant step in developing the technology for commercial use.”
The trial will be conducted with Telstra’s network partner Ericsson, with content provided by Channel Nine with the approval of Cricket Australia and the Melbourne Cricket Club.
Tonight’s broadcast trial will stream three channels of dedicated content to selected participants using specialised LTE-B enabled smartphones with specialised device firmware been provided by Samsung.
He said possible future uses of the broadcast technology, some of which will be tested tonight, included people listening to live commentary, getting real time match statistics and being able to watch replays and game highlights on their smartphone or tablet.
“When a large number of people gather in one place we often see a huge spike in the demand for data, which can stretch the capabilities of our network and affect our customers’ experience. This is particularly evident during sporting events with a lot of our customers looking to enhance the live event by accessing commentary or stats online.
“LTE-B offers us the ability to deliver content more effectively and provide all users the same high quality service using one single stream of data. This streamlined process frees up the rest of the network to carry other data, voice and text messages.
“We have successfully tested the technology in the lab, and tonight’s trial will give us valuable insights into how it performs in the real world –from both a user and technical perspective.”
Wright said Telstra would use the results from trials like the one at the MCG tonight to refine the network and work with manufacturers and content owners to develop devices and applications in preparation for a commercial launch.