BT has worked alongside the BBC at Birmingham’s historic Commonwealth Games to trial a standalone 5G private network for broadcast coverage of the event.
The tech and telecoms firm worked with the broadcaster to provide the network in Birmingham’s Victoria Square, which was used to screen the Queen’s Baton’s arrival in the second city live on BBC One’s The One Show.
BT deployed the trailer variant of its portable private network, which provides bespoke 5G coverage as well as a range of application capabilities. The trailer vehicle can enable customers to deploy a network in a challenging environment, or to trial how 5G can enhance their business operations. With Victoria Square attracting large crowds at its fan park throughout the Commonwealth Games it had the potential to swamp a standard network, but the use of the new technology allowed for live cameras to connect directly and securely to the private network.
BT’s Media and Broadcast unit, part of its Enterprise business, set up the secure portable network in the square, providing ultra-fast speeds and low latency of 5G during its coverage of the Games. With the use of the Vislink’s subsidiary Mobile Viewpoint UltraLink-Air 5G cellular encoders we have been able to roam the event with complete freedom delivering uninterrupted, low latency video feeds and bi-directional communication with the camera operator.
Rather than broadcast cameras that connect to the outside broadcast solely using radio (RF) signals which rely on proprietary equipment, the private network enabled 5G connected cameras to roam freely within the area covered by the network.
Faisal Mahomed, Director of BT Media and Broadcast, said: “We’re excited to have had the opportunity to deliver this trial of a 5G private network for a sporting event of this magnitude.
“The Commonwealth Games has been a huge event for Birmingham, and the wider UK, and I’m thrilled that BT was able to play a part in facilitating the TV coverage that 300 million viewers across the globe were able to watch at home or stream on the move.
“Our teams are leading the way in implementing new technology that can have a positive impact for broadcasters, in particular by enabling them to deliver high quality content with greater efficiency.”
You can view a trial of the 5G network at Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games here.