The EBU is calling on regulators and the industry to improve the conditions for the use of 5G in professional large-scale media production, in a newly published white paper. The white paper will also be the subject of an upcoming webinar.

5G technology is now widely regarded as fit for purpose in media production, thanks to the collaborative efforts of EBU Members as well as technology and service providers. Better spectrum availability and suitable licensing conditions for private 5G networks, ideally harmonised across Europe, are needed to enable uptake in professional content production. And improved commercial offerings from the mobile telecom operators would enable even greater uptake.

The EBU group on Program Making and Special Events (PMSE) and its members have conducted extensive studies and trials to assess the suitability of 5G for content production and contribution (see TR 080 - EBU Members' trials of 5G in content production & contribution). The results have been overwhelmingly positive, confirming that under the right conditions 5G technology can meet the technical and operational requirements across multiple production use cases, including remote production, live events, breaking news, and studio production.

However, to fully realize the potential of 5G in content production, a harmonized regulatory framework is essential. The transition from experimental usage to everyday operations requires suitable conditions, including:

1. Spectrum access: Affordable pricing and flexible licensing, similar to the current regime for PMSE applications, are necessary for the deployment of non-public 5G networks. Flexible technical conditions are also needed to tailor 5G network implementation to content production use-cases.

2. Harmonized conditions of use: Harmonization across Europe is crucial to facilitate cross-border use of 5G equipment, ensuring seamless operations across different regions.

3. Professional services by telecom operators: Telecom operators must be allowed to provide professional services with guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) to enable public 5G networks to support content production effectively.

4. Handover capability: A smooth handover between private and public networks should be possible to ensure continuous connectivity and flexibility in production environments.

These regulatory conditions not only benefit media content production but also have broader implications, potentially benefiting other sectors with similar requirements.

As 5G technology continues to mature and devices and services become more widely available, the adoption of a harmonized regulatory framework will be essential in unlocking its full potential for audiovisual productions, paving the way for a new era of innovation and efficiency in the media industry.

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