"DTT will continue to dominate media distribution well beyond 2018" - so says Ben Keen, IHS, in a scene-setting presentation at EBU/ETSI's joint event to examine the trends in wireless media distribution beyond 2020. The event is examining the demands from the consumer in media consumption and how these might be addressed by distribution technologies. Designed to bring together strategic experts from both the mobile and broadcasting sectors, the aim is to put aside the current, sometimes divisive, debates to look further into the future. Simon Fell, EBU's Technical Director, lamented the weak representation from the mobile operator sector commenting "by working together the mobile and broadcasting sectors can address many of the technology challenges, but this work must start quickly".
Some of the presentations focused on the abilities and prospects for LTE-based technologies, particularly LTE Broadcast, others focused on the dominance of linear media consumed indoors. Does this mean that there is little opportunity for technology-level cooperation between LTE and DVB families? The event continued to discuss this issue through the day. Graham Mills, DVB Commercial Module Chair, pointed to a view from the assembled community to investigate possibilities for real collaboration in the development of 5G. One observer concluded that there seemed little interest from LTE, LTE Broadcast and Mobile Operators in addressing the market demand met currently by DVB and the DTT platform. But changes there will be by 2020.
What are the next steps? EBU efforts in this space are focused on the Future Distribution Strategies Strategic Programme which aims to ensure that future telecommunications technologies (e.g. 5G) address broadcaster requirements with a view to exploiting the opportunities for wireless media distribution across all access networks.