While the potential benefits of 5G technology in content production are well documented, and the appetite for those benefits in the industry is growing, the regulatory negotiations and frameworks are complex and yet to be completed. EBU experts engage in a large number of relevant forums to represent the needs of professional content production and distribution in order to advance these discussions. Recently, the EBU spoke at a workshop of the EU Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) – this time on the topic of so called 5G non-public networks (5G NPNs).

5G NPNs are one of the use-cases for 5G technology in content production. Simply put, a 5G NPN is a dedicated local 5G network – a little like a local WiFi network, but optimised for the requirements of media production. Such 5G NPNs could provide a powerful production infrastructure for wireless cameras and microphones. But crucially, they also need to be away from interference with other wireless services on the frequency spectrum in order to be reliable.

Not all potential 5G NPN use cases are the same, and work done through the 5G-RECORDS project illustrates how the requirements in content production differ from those of more permanent 5G NPNs such as in manufacturing. These media-specific requirements include a 'light' licensing process, short-term local licenses that only last for a number of days or weeks, nomadic licenses, cross-border operation, provisions for good coordination with other local users, and flexible UL/DL configurations.

Speaking on this topic at the recent RSPG public workshop, and representing both the 5G-RECORDS project and the 5G Media Action Group (5G-MAG) on this occasion, the EBU again brought these requirements to the attention of European regulators and policy makers. The RSPG is a high-level advisory group that assists the European Commission in the development of radio spectrum policy. The members of the group are senior representatives from EU member states' regulatory authorities, the ministries responsible for spectrum related matters, and the European Commission itself.

As a member of both 5G-RECORDS and 5G-MAG, and through its expert groups ‘5G in Content Production (5GCP)’ and ‘Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE)’, the EBU is working to ensure that 5G technology meets the needs of public service media organisations. This concerns not only reliable technical performance but also suitable regulatory conditions and access to radio spectrum.

The RSPG workshop was attended by about 75 participants and the joint 5G-RECORDS/5G-MAG presentation was well received, leading hopefully to changes in regulation that will benefit content producers. To find out more about this work on the regulatory aspects of 5G NPN, please visit the 5G RECORDS website and contact Darko Ratkaj for any questions.

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