The EBU has recently published an information document for its Members on the development of 5G and its relevance for future distribution of Public Service Media (PSM) content and services.
No precise definition
As of today there is no precise definition of ‘5G’. The term is commonly used to refer to a future wireless communication system that promises to be vastly superior to existing technologies such as 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi, i.e. it would increase by an order of magnitude the throughput, speed, density of deployment, reliability, energy and cost efficiency. This would enable a number of use cases that current mobile networks cannot adequately serve. A large scale delivery of video content is considered to be one of the key 5G applications. The expected scale and breadth of uses for 5G means that media delivery capabilities will only be a small part of the new standard.
The 5G developments are supported by the mobile industry across the board and also by policy makers around the world, including the European Commission. Indeed, Commissioner Günther Oettinger recently declared: "The next generation of wireless networks, the ‘fifth generation’ or 5G, will change the way we communicate, the way we do business, the way we do everything! The impact of 5G will extend well beyond telecommunications."
Many open questions
5G could potentially open new opportunities for EBU Members in the long term, but many questions remain to be addressed. EBU efforts to formulate and promote future PSM requirements in this context are concentrated in the Strategic Programme on Future Distribution Strategies. For further information about the EBU's work in this domain, please contact Darko Ratkaj.