BBC Trials Live TV Broadcasting Over 4G for Commonwealth Games

Tim Maytom

4G Transmitter Antenna Broadcast TowerHaving already revealed that it will be broadcasting 4K Ultra HD live video from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the BBC's research and development department has also announced it will be trialling live television broadcasting over 4G networks.

The plan, made in partnership with EE, Huawei and Qualcomm, will see the BBC broadcasting live footage of the Commonwealth games over EE's 4G network. While users can already stream live footage of broadcasts to devices using apps like BBC iPlayer, each request is treated individually, causing heavy congestion during major events.

The trial will instead see the BBC transmitting a live stream over the the entire network, enabling users to access the broadcast like they would tune into a TV channel at home. According to the BBC, this will improve reliability and picture quality, and reduce buffering and drop outs.

As with the 4K trials, the live 4G trials will only be available at a pop-up public Showcase event in Glasgow which is running for the duration of the Commonwealth Games. Demonstration handsets will be available for the public to use, with the games streamed through a custom-built Commonwealth Games app.

The Showcase will also feature other technical trials, like a live feed, 360-degree view of the SSE Hydro Stadium streamed to an Oculus Rift headset and augmented graphical overlays for iPlayer footage.